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Douglas County Parents Agree On One Thing: Students Are Being Impacted During Sick Out, Protests

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - On Thursday, hundreds of teachers gathered in Castle Rock to hold a "sick out" protest to stand in solidarity with the Douglas County superintendent, who they say is being targeted. While many parents understand why teachers are doing this, they said students are the ones being affected.

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"I think it's unfortunate," said James Duff, who has seven grandchildren who attend school in the district. "Kids are missing out too much, and there 'outta be other ways to resolve some of the concerns and issues."

And confusion and frustrations are growing for parents.

"I am not quite sure what's going on," said John Borcherding, a parent of three.

The "sickout" was to support superintendent Corey Wise, after several conservative school board members are accused of secretly meeting to push him out. Wise has been in favor of mask mandates. Many parents shared mixed- feelings about the teacher protest, some saying the divide amongst the community has been felt for quite some time.

"I followed that board election, and my family and I were a little afraid that something like this would happen," said Jesse Woelber, who's a single parent.

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That sickout meant another day without classes for more than 60,000 students in the district.

"I do feel like the kids are stuck in the middle and it breaks my heart," said parent Katherine Horning. Horning delivered food to the teachers who didn't call out, as a token of gratitude, but she said at the core of this controversy should be the well-being of students.

"I don't care what side you're on," Horning said. "Please just work together, for our kids."

While many parents didn't like the idea of classes being canceled, several parents understood why teachers protested.

"I support them and stand for what they believe, they are underpaid and they really deserve more than how they're being treated currently," said Bridgette Rodgers.

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The district school board is holding a special meeting on Friday to discuss the situation.

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