The 383 teachers that make up the Strongsville Education Association voted overwhelmingly to go on strike, and it's already turned into a nasty, ugly battle.
The union members are readying for the picket lines, and the battle lines have been drawn.
"It's a decision that we feel was our only option at this point," said SEA President, Tracy Linscott.
Sunday afternoon, in anticipation of the vote to strike, picketers shouted insults in a line they formed at the Strongsville police station.
"You scrub, you scab, you terrible person," yelled one picketer.
Their targets: people applying for substitute positions during their strike. Several reported being cursed at, and others had to have police escorts out of the building.
"I've now seen two turn away in tears. I don't know if they're scared of losing their jobs to the subs or if they just feel like being bullies. I think it's a horrible example to set for the kids like this," said furious father, Kevin Lelonis.
He and other parents are upset they've involved the children. Multiple sources tell us they're encouraging disobedience with the subs. And SEA President Linscott confirms they are asking kids not to show up to school Monday, citing safety concerns.
"We've been working to reach an agreement for 9 months. We're just looking for a fair and equitable contract so we can be in the classroom with our kids. We don't want to be on strike," said SEA rep, Christine Canning.
The teachers say the substitutes won't be able to give the students the education they deserve.
"I don't think the students need these new teachers, they need their regular teachers who will help them learn more," said SHS freshman, Justin Snavely.
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