STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Many Strongsville High School students are taking state-mandated Ohio Graduation Tests this week, as nearly 400 teachers continue to walk the picket lines outside the school buildings.
On Monday night, a meeting between both sides ordered by a federal mediator failed to produce any results, according to Superintendent John Krupinski. “I went into the meeting because it was called exploratory, with no particular expectation other than the hope that we could move forward.”
Krupinski said attendance is up from 74% last week to 85% on Tuesday. He also said there are now more than 200 substitute teachers, but the hiring process has presented a few challenges. “We have terminated some individuals, we’re not going to accept less than appropriate performance in the classroom.”
Tracy Linscott with the Strongsville Education Association questions the education standards while maintaining that the ball is in the hands of the school board. “It’s upsetting because the board is willing to, you know, they’re saving money by keeping us out of the classrooms, basically.”
The ongoing back-and-forth continues to cause occasional problems in the community. According to police incident reports obtained by FOX 8 News, several striking teacher vehicles were egged in two business parking lots recently. More were also targeted on Holiday Road, where some park before walking to picket at Muraski Elementary School.
According to Strongsville Police Chief Jim Kobak, one person told police their tire was slashed but it wound-up being a nail and it may have been accidental.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point; I mean, truly we had hoped that the board would stop the rhetoric and say ‘let’s bargain’,” said Linscott. The SEA is asking parents to contact school board members and encourage them to get more involved.
The superintendent said he hoped to have a resolution by the time spring break comes to an end in early April.
Edward Racheo, a Strongsville resident, is asking both sides to make a deal. “The best thing is for both sides to resolve the matter as quickly as possible, that would be the best thing for the community and the kids.”
The strike enters its tenth day on Wednesday and no more talks are scheduled.