While in the process of ensuring my two lovely miscreants were actually going to sleep at 9:30 yesterday evening (no hidden iPod touches), I looked out my second story window and noticed some unusual classroom lights at Heartland Elementary School.
The district will leave lighted hallways, but the classrooms are always dark at night.
Being the inquisitive type, I drove over to the school and discovered a 14 foot U-Haul and white minivan parked in the bus circle. Upon further inspection, it was clear the truck was loaded to the gills with classroom items and materials.
I managed to take one rather blurry picture of the U-Haul, but my night camera skills failed me as I attempted to take a picture of its contents.
At that point, a man and a woman exited the school pushing a dolly loaded with more material. Though I know most Heartland teachers, I did not recognize the pair. When they saw me heading back to my vehicle, the male put the stuff in the truck while the woman called someone on her cell phone.
About 30 seconds later, they got into the minivan and U-Haul and left – classroom lights still blazing.
After alerting the 911 folks, I followed both vehicles southbound on Randall Road until three Batavia Police cruisers caught up with them at Main Street. The officers would not let me anywhere near the scene.
At 10:56 p.m. I spoke with Geneva Police Sergeant Dan Kott who told me it was a teacher removing personal items from their classroom, though, at a cursory glance, it looked like more that just one classroom. And why wouldn’t both individuals simply have driven over to the school in the truck?
According to a source, on Wednesday, the school board emailed all D304 teachers asking them to remove any and all personal items from their classroom in the event of strike.
In addition, I also called a board member at 10 p.m. yesterday evening who explained the negotiations were continuing as we spoke and they were surprised to learn of my observations.
What I can tell you is, as of 6 a.m. this morning, there is no deal and no further negotiations are scheduled. That doesn’t necessarily mean the teachers will strike today and it would appear as if they haven’t.
Though it could be just one teacher jumping the gun, in this reporter’s opinion, based on my source, what I saw last night, and the time of the incident, they’re going on strike. And the fact that a teacher is emptying a classroom(s) while negotiations are in process certainly gives the appearance of a union failing to negotiate in good faith.
A non-board, non-administrator source told me the union’s preferred tactic at this point is to simply wear the board down.
C’mon! Why would someone be following the board’s instructions to remove personal items unless they knew they were walking out?