* Things got tense in Waukegan Tuesday night when an angry audience confronted the local school board over a three-week teachers strike…
Tempers flared in the north suburbs Tuesday night as anger and frustration over a three-week teachers’ strike boil over.
Despite extra security, metal detectors and barricades for crowd control, the Waukegan school board abruptly ended its meeting. […]
When the school board announced the time allotted for public comment would be shorter than expected, tempers flared.
Board members tried to conduct the meeting, but the crowd shouted them down. What happened next eliciting even more anger.
In response to jeers, school board member Victoria Torres leapt off the stage and into the crowd, where she scolded teachers and parents.
“Alright, let’s go! I’m a parent too! Yeah, sit down and shut up. Yeah, shut up!” Torres told the crowd. […]
“Her conduct was unacceptable, unnecessary, unprofessional; and I think the only thing she should do now is resign her position,” Waukegan Mayor Wayne Motley told a local CBS outlet. “I will contact the board members. I think that she set negotiations back two weeks.”
Raw video is here. Torres apologized the next day.
This strike has torn open some major wounds, as teacher strikes usually do. But quite a few politicians embraced the striking teachers, putting even more pressure on the school board.
* Yesterday, Gov. Quinn dispatched his state school superintendent Gery Chico to help mediate and the strike was finally settled last night. From a joint statement from the Board of Education and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council…
Shortly before midnight tonight, the Board of Education for Waukegan Community Unit School District # 60 and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract.
All schools will remain closed on October 30 and October 31, as both parties review the agreement. Pending a ratification by teachers on Thursday, teachers will return to work on Friday to help prepare schools for re-opening to students on Monday, November 3.
“This tentative agreement represents not only a compromise between the Union and the Board, but an end to what was a long, trying process for all parties involved,” said Waukegan Teachers’ Council President Kathy Schwarz. “We are grateful to the entire Waukegan community that struggled with us through these difficult times. We would also like to thank Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico for their assistance during the conclusion of contract talks. After years of instability, we are hopeful that this agreement will be the first step in giving our students the schools they deserve.”
“It is with great delight that we acknowledge having reached a Tentative Agreement with our teachers that will return our students to their classrooms. These last four weeks have been difficult for everyone involved. Both the Board of Education and I have witnessed first hand a great passion for education from parents, students and community members.
We eagerly look forward to working together as a community for the betterment of our students,” said Waukegan Superintendent Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste, and we thank the many community partners who came forward to offer invaluable support and assistance. Particular gratitude is extended to Governor Quinn, ISBE Chairman Chico, State Superintendent Koch, and Regional Superintendent Wood,” said Superintendent, Dr. Donaldo R. Batiste.