Just two days after several Strongsville schools were closed, school officials found another threat of violence.
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - Strongsville Education Association President Tracy Linscott delivered a proposal to the Strongsville Schools Superintendent Tuesday afternoon, but the district has rejected the offer.
After a rally at the city's gazebo, the striking teachers carried signs and chanted on their way to the board of education offices. Linscott said the proposal is a way to end the strike by going to binding interest arbitration.
A couple of hundred Strongsville teachers, teachers from neighboring school districts and people representing labor unions from across the area came to support striking Strongsville teachers Tuesday afternoon.
US Sen. Sherrod Brown spoke at the rally as well. Brown said he plans to call the Strongsville Board of Education President David Frazee and ask school administrators to come back to the table and negotiate.
"I know the Strongsville Education Association has made three offers that have not been answered. I am calling Mr. Frazee to ask him to come to the table to discuss this. Not telling him how to settle, I just want the process to restart," Brown said.
Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, the mediator called for both sides to meet Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. The mediator will only call a meeting if one or both sides has changed its position.
"It is in the board's hands. We have asked to go into binding interest arbitration," said Linscott. "The board of education simply has to agree and we will be back in the classrooms."
"In binding arbitration, we would be delegating to an out-of-town third party the authority to spend Strongsville taxpayer dollars and concede management rights, which our board thinks is not appropriate and is not agreeable to us," said Frazee. "We have a last best offer on the table. It is both fair and sustainable in terms of today's economic realities. We will continue to keep the community informed as the mediation process continues, but binding arbitration is not an option."
All preschools, elementary schools and the high school were closed Monday in Strongsville after a bomb threat.
The principal of Chapman Elementary School in Strongsville is asking the community to be on the lookout for vandals who've been targeting the school and destroying property.
Families in Strongsville are hoping the fresh start of a new school year will remove the bitter taste from a teachers' strike that divided the community last spring.