Retired teacher taken into custody at Galesburg school headquarters

A retired teacher was taken into police custody as the federal mediation session continued between teachers and school administrators in Galesburg, Illinois.

As of 3 p.m., neither negotiators for teachers or the school district were commenting on progress.  On the 15th day, the stalemate remained rooted in state education reforms passed in 2011.

Related: No deal in Galesburg; teachers strike enters third week

As the stalemate continued, retired Galesburg teacher Jim Jacobs showed up carrying a sleeping bag and pillow into District 205 headquarters.  Jacobs stated he planned to stay there until the strike was over.

Police were called, and Jacobs was taken to a police squad car moments later.

Jacobs spent more than 35 years as a teacher in Galesburg.

At issue in the strike negotiations, is state legislation passed in 2011 which mandates that teacher layoffs are based mostly on performance ratings rather than seniority.

It’s called “Recall Rights.” That’s the way teachers are called back to work after a layoff.

Negotiating recall rights conflicts with state law, according to the school board.

Teachers say they want fair evaluations that will keep the best teachers, regardless of cost.

Galesburg parent Samantha James says she worries that the best teachers won’t come to work in Galesburg.

“The older teachers, they need to be able to come back first,” she said. “You don’t recall back the lower grade teachers who haven’t been around for years.”

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