Gahanna-Jefferson teacher strike day 3, substitute teachers start next week

Local News

GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) — No agreement has been reached between Gahanna-Jefferson teachers and school district as the strike moves to its third day.

Both sides are still trying to come to terms on the hybrid learning for students.

Teachers grew more vocal on the picket line Thursday and took their message to the Educational Service Center where the Gahanna-Jefferson school district is receiving substitute teacher help starting next week.

Right now, students are learning independently with no help from teachers due to the strike.

“They’re getting recorded videos,” said parent Erin Miller. “They’re getting their workbooks.”

But students like Mondra Curry say this type of learning has not been easy.

“It’s been kind of hard because they’re not able to come on and help us with our work,” Curry said.

The district says starting next week, if no agreement is made, substitute teachers will be available to help students with online learning.

But some students are pushing back against bringing substitute teachers. On Thursday, a few students in the school district booed and blocked off the cars as some substitute teachers came to pick up their material from the main office.

“I don’t have anything against the subs,” said student Conor Mallonn. “It’s just the subs aren’t our teachers. Our teachers have put in years and years of work to get where they are, and they can’t just be replaced by people who spent a week learning what they’re going to teach us. I want to be able to have the teachers who are trained professionally, understand the community, and know the students well enough.”

Katie Kellogg echoed Mallonn’s sentiments.

“We don’t want our teachers replaced,” she said. ” We want our teachers that have been here from the start.”

During the strike, teachers do not have access to healthcare, a concern for many especially now with the coronavirus spreading rapidly throughout Ohio.

The GJPS district said employees were notified, in advance of the strike, that their benefits would end, as required by Ohio law, effective on the first day of the strike.

The district is also filing two unfair labor practices with the State Employment Relations Board related to the conduct of the teacher’s union.

“Our current situation and the lack of alignment with the teachers union requires us to continue taking actions to protect the district,” the GJPS district said in a statement.

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