The strike ended yesterday at about 3:30 in the afternoon. Nine days of protest and struggle. I don't know how the contract hammered out but I know the teachers really feel that they were victorious and that they really came out on top.
I walked the picket line with them on Friday. The short of it is these teachers are amazing. The long of it is I was overwhelmed and humbled by their perseverance and bravery. I did very little of actual walking because since Mike was such an integral part of the strike I went with him all over the place. We went to strike headquarters a bunch, another meeting place where he could hammer out contract details and I went around with some friends of mine to hand out information to the other picket lines at other schools. I got to see my friends in action, standing up for what they believe in, standing up for themselves. It was a truly amazing experience.
There is hope that the school board learned something here. That imposing a contract, without any concern with what concerns the other party, is wholly wrong. Especially when you are woefully uneducated in what really goes on. When details of negotiations and sticking points came out, it was clear that those board members never spend time in a classroom. No, a school. That they don't understand what teachers actually do in their day was blatantly apparent. That is sad. And what is sadder is that these people will get reelected next year because no one will run against them. Either no one wants to or no one thinks they can beat the incumbents. Let's hope someone out there really paid attention and that that someone will run for school board and that that someone will do everything they can to not let this happen again. But right now all we can do is hope.