At a hearing Wednesday, a Cowlitz County judge did not find Kelso teachers in violation of an earlier court order. Teachers in the Southwest Washington district remain on strike.

Related: Kelso Teachers Continue Strike Despite Judge’s Order

Lawyers for the Kelso School District asked a Cowlitz County judge to find teachers in contempt of a court order.

But Judge David Koss granted the union’s request for another hearing Friday. At that time, the judge could level penalties against the teachers.

Last week, Judge Koss ruled the strike illegal and ordered teachers back to work. But teachers defied that order and have continued to picket.

Kelso School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said little on his way out of the courtroom: “We’ll continue to work at the bargaining table.”

Teacher and union spokeswoman Sandy De Bruler said she’s encouraged about Friday’s hearing.

“We will be calling witnesses and the judge will hear from us why we have refused to go back to work,” she said.

Negotiations between the union and the district are stuck over compensation in the third year of the contract. Kelso teachers went out on strike a week ago.