A crush of rowdy students turned the hallways of a Denver high school into a dance party on Monday — as teachers in the city went on strike for the first time in 25 years.
With few adults around to stop them, the revved-up crowd of youngsters blasted music and jumped up and down inside East High School, according to video obtained by the Denver Post.
Students said they were eventually booted from the school for the stunt — though school officials disputed that.
“No, of course not,” district spokeswoman Anna Alejo said when asked if any students were kicked out. “A number of students chose to walk out.”
One student, Matt Pence, told the Denver Post that students were supposed to follow special schedules amid the strike. But when the school ran out of the schedules, chaos ensued.
As they waited, music broke out in the crowd and students busted out their dance moves.
“There wasn’t much control,” said Pence, 18, who left school for the day. “The substitutes were trying as hard as they could, but there was just too many people.”
Pence said the scene was “rowdy.”
“We were playing Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power’ and also some Migos,” he added.
Many of the students who left for the day joined their picketing teachers, according to Pence.
“We all support the teachers,” Pence said. “They deserve better pay for what they put up with. I know other school districts pay a higher base pay, and they have less money for incentives and put that into teacher salary.”
Denver’s first teachers’ strike in a quarter of a century is the result of 11th-hour negotiations that collapsed over the weekend. Over the past 15 months, teachers across the city’s 160 schools have been demanding better pay but failed to reach an agreement with Gov. Jared Polis.
On Monday, officials said roughly 2,100 teachers of 5,353 total called in sick. All public schools except preschools in Denver remained open — meaning administrators believed there’d be enough substitute teachers in place.
In preparation for the strike, the district hired 300 new subs to pad its active roster of 1,200 subs. Some 1,400 employees from the central office were also brought in to fill gaps.