By Victor Skinner
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – The parents and students of Strongsville schools are embarrassed by their local teachers strike.
The Strongsville Education Association has been on strike for the past two weeks with no end in sight. Picketing teachers have gained media attention for harassing replacement teachers, blocking driveways to schools and picketing in front of the homes of school boards members.
Some protesting teachers have even been arrested, Cleveland.com reports.
All the turmoil convinced about 100 parents, students and taxpayers to hold their own rally Friday to encourage striking teachers to give up on their self-serving tantrum.
“We’re here to show we support the teachers getting back into the classroom,” community activist Paul Komarek told the news site. “This strike is embarrassing the community and it’s been going on long enough.”
“Maybe they’ll get a little more mature about it and come back for their students’ sake,” student Lydia Kareha told Cleveland.com. “I hope they see this and understand that what they’re doing is ridiculous, to an extent.”
The teachers union is holding candlelight vigils at 7 p.m. every Thursday during the strike, and the community group plans to counter the vigils with their own rallies at 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
The candlelight vigils are presumably to mourn the death of negotiations after the SEA rejected the board of education’s last offer March 2.
But it seems that the only thing dying in Strongsville is the respect the community once had for its teachers.
A federal mediator will hear from both sides of the contract dispute March 17 in hopes of breaking the negotiation stalemate.