The Reynoldsburg community rallied for teachers Friday as hundreds of people voiced their opinions on the picket line.
At midnight Friday morning, the teacher’s union officially began their strike, weeks after failed negotiations with the school district and heated debates with educators and parents.
At issue, according to the Reynoldsburg Education Association (REA), are class sizes and rampant teacher turnover.
According to the district spokesperson, the board of education will continue to work with the federal mediator on a resolution.
District officials said they will be available to talk to the REA at any time, but that no negotiations have been scheduled at this time.
Reynoldsburg schools were open Friday, but according to reports from parents and students, it was anything but business as usual.
According to the REA, a picketer and dog were hit by a vehicle that was crossing the picket line at Waggoner Road Junior High School. The organization said the picketer and dog were fine, and that Reynoldsburg police handled the incident.
Students, and parents reported “chaos” at many schools in the district Friday, saying there were “grossly inadequate staffing levels” and reports of rebellion and confrontations with students.
School Officials said several substitutes who were supposed to arrive Friday did not, and that administrators will work through the weekend to fill vacant spots.
Reynoldsburg police said officers responded to the Livingston campus in response to a fight in progress. Police said the situation was resolved quickly and students returned to class without further incident.
“I see about five squad cars. Everybody is running into the school in panic and stuff. Once I had heard there was a fight, I left,” said Willie Dunham, a Reynoldsburg High School student.
Other students caught the incidents on camera, including fights and running.
“They’re just threatening people and it’s just loud and unsafe in there without teachers,” said Sabrina Berhe, a Reynoldsburg High School student.
“People just running through corridors. I didn’t even see teachers at that point,” said Haley Thompson, a Reynoldsburg High School student.
“He said I resisted arrest, so another cop came over and they both pushed me against the wall and threw me on the floor and cuffed me,” said Destini Sullivan, a Reynoldsburg High School student.
School administrators will meet Friday afternoon to discuss events and issues at the schools Friday.
A rally is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Huber Park in Reynoldsburg, along with a candlelight vigil from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at district headquarters.
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