Galesburg parent holds picket against teacher strike

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One Galesburg mother is fed up with the teachers' strike and held a picket line with her four kids across the street from Galesburg High School.

"I want to see my kids in school, I want to see the other kids in school," said Samantha Long, a mother of four kids in the Galesburg school district. "There's a lot of parents around here that counted on school [starting]."

The Galesburg Teachers Association (GEA) went on strike Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 when they could not reach a settlement with Board of Education.

The teachers are asking for things like higher salaries, clearer language in their contracts, and safer working conditions in the schools.

We're dealing with mold, we've had a lot of roof leaking, there are tiles that are up off the floor and there's asbestos underneath them," said Tami Qualls, spokesperson for the GEA.

"We want  to be in the classroom and we want to be treated fairly because if we don't have a fair contract that is comparable and competitive to any of the other schools in our area then we can't attract quality educators to our community," said Qualls.

However Long said she is disappointed in the teachers because they are asking for money the district doesn't have.

"A lot of teachers deserve the raise but they know more than anybody else, [that] there really is [no money] left, there's nothing left to give them," said Long.

A federal mediator is scheduled to come to Galesburg on Tuesday, August 19th. If a settlement still isn't reached, the teachers are prepared to continue their strike and hold public forums for concerned parents the following nights.


  • Amber Lund

    Do you parents not understand that these teachers are not the only ones exposed to asbestos? Your children are also. The school is unsafe! These teachers these days not only deserve a raise for teaching our children, the deserve better pay that most ppl out there! They are this worlds future. Without them, we had an even more messed up world. No “money” means that the city needs to do something different and put the children’s education at a higher standard than they are. For gods sake people, I’m not a teacher, but I’m a mom of three, and I want what’s best for my kids, not unsafe conditions, and unhappy teachers, we have a unclear future for our kids. I understand that the kids need to be in school, but think of their health and what these teachers have to deal with. The town should simply check with other area high schools and put these children in a temporary location while the asbestos is removed and these teachers get what they deserve, everyone’s respect!

  • Rhonda Brady

    I love the fact we can picket. protest and voice opinions in the USA! Maybe Ms Long will go to the CUSD 205 Board Meeting tonight at 7pm…. hear more about ALL of the Contract language and more of the concerns thus educating herself more. Education is our future- Let’s be LIFE LONG LEARNERS!

  • James McAdam (@JimmehMac)

    The parents that are protesting are the biggest hypocrites. There is no money because they refuse to increase their taxes, but yet, they want to care about their children’s education to a certain point, they don’t care about their health or quality of learning, but instead, they want a glorified baby sitter. Parents, if you want to fix this, how about you invest in your children’s education and stop thinking teachers are slaves and instead people that have to deal with your little Galesburg demons.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      James, I’m curious, how much is enough?
      To suggest that parents don’t care or only care so much is a crock. At some point (which happens to be now) parents expect the school to do their job with the money they have been given.

  • Brandi Corbin

    Ms.long how dare you protest the teachers
    you only want to endanger your children to send them to school so you don’t have to deal with them for 8 hours of the day last time i met you
    you were living off the state not working and your house was a dump
    our teachers want what is best for your children well being at least someone is looking out for them to want better condition for them if their parents wont

    • Elliott Whitlow

      How DARE she? You are serious right? So because she was living off the state she can’t protest? How does that have ANY relevance to your argument?
      Our teachers want what is best for themselves first, lets be real. And your entire post reads as TEACHERS KNOW BEST. Brandi, perhaps you should actually have a real position to start with before you start posting.

    • Samantha

      I don’t even know who you are.And to say things like that along with everyone else’s negative comments makes you all sound so much worse.I am not fighting for a babysitter.I am fighting for them to fight harder for the buildings than they are everything else I’m sorry you where Not standing there to hear what was said before they edited the video. My kid’s wanted to stand up and let everyone know how they felt.That’s why I started in the first place. Attacking me is as ignorant as the thing’s you all say I am.

    • Christina

      Do you even know her? Everytime I have been at her house its been clean and her kids are well cared for. I don’t know if shes on welfare or not but that’s not my business.

  • Derek

    Galesburg would rather build a brand new football fell. Galesburg hasn’t had a winning team in years. Nothing was wrong with the old field. I think the money should of went to the teachers and fixing the problems with the building. I stand behind you 100% Galesburg 205 teacher’s.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      I agree with the point you are making, unfortunately when money is given for a particular purpose it must be used for that purpose or be lost. So the money you are talking about simply couldn’t be used the way you are suggesting.

      I however do not support the teachers, I support he kids.

  • Virginia

    I think this mom should be at home teaching her kids instead of taking time to protest against the safety of her own children in a building ridden with mold and asbestos. All parents should be their kids 1st teacher and ultimately it is OUR responsibility as parents to unsure that they are well educated. ….One less day in the school is one less day that our children are being poisoned with society anyway……

  • samlong88

    I don’t think any one reads any thing I have said..Not on here not of facebook..I want the buildings fixed so they can go back to school..My kid’s are excited about school..I miss the days they come home and tell me what they did today or the things they made,If they had to try something hard and didn’t get it but end up doing just fine..I am a stay at home mom.So what..I am a very good stay at home mom,and plan on going back to school myself next year when all my kids are in school full time..I have every right to be.I have a husband who works hard and kids who are very smart.And I was teaching my children the rights they have and how to stand up in what they believe in.And I am standing up for their safety..Which is why I say fix the buildings now,Cause when they get that started it will still be awhile before the kids get in school.They love school they want school,and we all want to make sure they are ok and healthy..So again.Fix the buildings and get the kids in school..My daughter is supposed to start kindergarten this year,She and I both were excited for her first day.I get to see all the other parents and kids happy because it’s their first time.Well I want that to.I have my kids at home all the time.And when I do have a babysitter I only can get help with 2 or one at a time,Having them home doesn’t make a difference for me.I don’t need a babysitter,I love my kids..I am so tired of the horrible comments and my kids want to know the updates and what people are saying.And I can’t because of all the hateful things people are saying because we had something to say to..And when did this become a world when others can’t have a similar view and opinion and say something about it..Sorry mine wasn’t about fair contract or more pay.Mine was about my children.

  • pamela taylor

    Does anyone read anymore. It hasn’t been about money since the first vote. Wanting to recall laid off teachers before hiring new ones……….also they don’t want to be fired and never given a reason!!!! Then theres
    mold and exposing themselves and all student to other health risks!!!

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