The Strongsville teachers strike enters week three on Monday. A protest rally by some parents and community members angry about alleged teacher behavior and lost learning time was held in the Northern Ohio town on Friday afternoon. A multitude of classroom supplies were donated by parents for use in classrooms. Some students complained that their rooms were bare and said that even some textbooks were missing.
A number of Strongsville students told NewsNet5 reporters that teachers took textbooks, posters, supplies, and even tissue boxes out of their classrooms before the strike vote was taken. Some students reportedly told their parents that the school rooms resembled “stripped down jail cells.” Parents took all of their craft and classroom supplies to the school library so educational posters could be created and placed on the room walls.
A Strongsville teachers union representative denies the allegations of removing textbooks. The Strongsville Education Association spokesperson stated that teachers only took items that were paid for by the staff personally.
Some signs held at the rally organized by parents read, “Our teachers have become classless.” Other signs carried at the end of the second week of the Strongsville teachers strike referenced alleged bullying behavior by teachers and encouraging kids to come first in the ongoing dispute.
A substitute teacher had a hard object thrown at her car windshield while driving along the highway after leaving the school. A car drove up next to the substitute teacher’s car and a passenger reportedly tossed the object before driving away quickly. Police officers were given a detailed description of the car and are searching for the suspects.
Strongsville Education Association President Tracy Linscott claims she was followed home after a negotiation meeting at the federal mediator’s office. The police report says Linscott claimed an older man attempted to follow her out of the parking lot after the meeting. The union leader also maintained a friend helped her “lose” the man before she reached her home. Some striking Strongsville teachers also filed police reports claiming someone had egged their vehicles. One teacher reported having a slashed tire.
Social media is playing a rather significant part in the Strongsville teachers strike. Facebook pages have been set up for both union supporters and those opposed to the strike. Posts on the Facebook pages and Twitter clearly illustrate the growing divide in the Strongsville community because of the teachers strike.