New Jersey students frustrated teachers won't write recommendation letters

NUTLEY, New Jersey (WABC) -- High school students in New Jersey are frustrated because their teachers are refusing to write college recommendation letters due to a contract dispute.

They say it's because the teachers have been working without a contract since last year, and now the students are urging the district to resolve the problem.

The students spoke out at a recent board meeting supporting their teachers who are without a contract, but added the labor dispute is threatening the futures of those students who need recommendation letters to get into college.

Their contract ended last July and talks have stalled, but students say they don't want to be pawns in a battle between the administration and teachers.

The students say their requests have been put on hold with teachers claiming they won't write the letters until the contract dispute ends.

"I've asked a couple of teachers and their response was once the contract issue gets settled, then they will write the letters," junior Sanjana Gupta said.

The school board listened patiently to the students' comments and concerns about the teachers and the lack of recommendation letters, but it didn't appear either side is willing to budge on the contract dispute.

The union is encouraging teachers to meet the students' requests if they are deserving.

The students are planning a protest Friday morning after first period to show their support for the teachers.

Dr. Julie Glazer, Superintendent of Nutley Schools, issued the following statement:

"It is extremely disconcerting that some teachers have expressed their unwillingness to write college recommendation letters for our students, due to the district's unsettled labor contract. I firmly believe that writing recommendations for students, as a way to support their next step in education, is part of a teacher's professional responsibilities. I will take all appropriate action to ensure that no student is hurt by this job action."

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