UPDATE: Thank you to Hollywood Mom Tammy Nagashima (Ruku’s mom!) for covering this event!

At the 10/22 seminar with speaker Cheryl Diamond, first refreshments were served and then at 6:30, the Looking Ahead staff spoke for a few minutes regarding administrative matters and announcements about upcoming events.

Guest speaker Cheryl Diamond, President of The Studio Teachers/Welfare Workers Local 884 was then introduced.  She distributed handouts and flyers to all the parents in attendance and spoke at length about the Studio Teacher’s “Blue Book,” and Title 8, DLSE; which state that studio teachers need two teaching credentials: 1) Elementary school teaching credential and 2) secondary single subject credential. The Studio Teachers additionally requires teachers have documentation called “green cards” (not to be confused with the immigration documents) and an exam.

Ms. Diamond addressed the recent reports of two men falsely identifying themselves and working for many years as studio teachers. Parents we’re anxious to know, “How did this happen?”  Ms. Diamond explained that no one is certain how they got away with it, and emphasized the importance of Production checking a teachers’ backgrounds when hiring them, just as she personally scrutinizes the teachers when hiring them.  The Studio Teachers are currently investigating the breakdowns that say, “there will be no studio teacher on set.” Making it clear that a studio teacher is required for children between 15 days old – 16 years old.  Kids over 16, working on the weekends, do not require a studio teacher.

Topics covered:

  • Pink slip/school reports
  • Teachers’ versus Parents’ responsibilities on the set

1) Teachers: to secure 3 hours of schooling, and attend to the welfare of the children.

2) Parents: Must be present if the child is under 16, must bringing 3 hours of school work, etc.  If child is with an online school, keep in mind that WiFi may not be available on set, so parents should bring hard copies of the school work as well.  * If the child is over 16, the teacher is just responsible for the education portion and the child himself/herself and/or the child’s parent is responsible for the “welfare” portion i.e. working conditions and physical environment.

  • The studio teacher has the power to remove a child in case of unsafe conditions, etc.

Ms. Diamond then covered independent study school programs. She personally likes Oak Park Independent School (OPIS) in Agoura (which many Disney kids are a part of).  And as an aside – OPIS uses REAL books!

The meeting proceeded into a Question and Answer format.

Parent Question: Can you request a set teacher?

Answer: You certainly can, although it may not be accommodated.

The mother who asked this question has sons in high school taking upper division classes (advanced classes such as chemistry).  Cheryl Diamond explained that some production companies hire tutors in addition to studio teachers (budget allowing) for subjects like foreign languages. When Cheryl herself worked on the “7th Heaven” set 20 years ago, they had the budget to hire both teachers and tutors. Currently, on Disney sets she does both by herself.

Q: What if there is a conflict with the teacher?

A: If the project is SAG, a parent can call “Betterment of Services.” Sharon Sacks is the person in charge of that department. On the set, parents should approach the second AD, as the second AD usually handles such issues.  If not, she advises locating the person who provided your child’s start paperwork. That individual will likely direct parents to the correct crew member if they themselves have no authority. Cheryl then relayed to the audience that she’s received complaints and even pictures of some studio teachers sleeping on the set via e-mail!

Q: A parent spoke about the door of the on set classroom being closed, conveying that she did not feel comfortable with it and wanted to know, “What are my options?”

A: While she always keeps the door open herself, Cheryl Diamond explained that parents are not allowed in the schooling area. But she personally feels the door should remain open.

One parent reported that there was a teacher who always closed the door.  Cheryl told the parents that they can ask the set teacher if he/she would keep the door open, but reiterated that there is no law that specifically requires the teachers to keep the classroom doors open.

There was also discussion among the attending mothers about parents being within sight and sound of their children and wanted to know if that included the child’s time within the classroom.  Cheryl clarified that the sight and sound rule applies everywhere on the set EXCEPT for the classroom.”

Ms. Diamond then spoke of her experiences on the set when production wanted to do things she felt were unsafe, and recounted how she stepped in and stopped the production from filming those scenes.

Hollywood Mom Tammy Nagashima told HMB that all in all this was a fun, educational event and that she even connected with old friends from decades ago at the meeting!  Thank you Tammy for giving those of us who missed this night a great recap. We’ll be sure to make the next one!

studio set teachers

Hollywood Moms we’ve got an important event for you! The Actors Fund Looking Ahead Program is honored to have Cheryl Diamond, President of Studio Teachers Local 884, speak with the parents of Professional Young Performers this Wednesday Oct. 22nd, from 6:00pm- 8:00pm.

With all the strange happenings in the world of child actors lately – culminating in the recent revelation that at least two men were actually impersonating studio teachers for several years it has never been more important to become involved in your child’s on set education and to learn directly from the source what measures you can and should take to protect your child.

WHERE: 5757 Wilshire Blvd. 1st Floor Frank Maxwell Room- parking is validated for the garage connected to us
WHO CAN ATTEND: This is open to all Parents of Professional Young Performers ages 9-18 years of age.
WHEN: Wednesday Oct. 22nd, from 6:00pm- 8:00pm

Cheryl Diamond, President of Studio Teachers Local 884, will relay information about the Local 884 and will review the parents “need to know” responsibilities and their job while on the set. Afterwards there will be a question and answer dialogue with Cheryl on the burning questions all parents have about the teachers working with their children.

Please RSVP thookom@actorsfund.org or 323-330-2413
Light Dinner will be served.