Eighty years ago, six teachers at Belleville Township High School, one of whom had taught for 9 years, were dismissed from the district. While the reason for these dismissals was unclear, it was soon apparent that there was no just cause for these random firings. In fact, the principal at the time said that the teachers' work had been "entirely satisfactory."
Students took notice. The following Monday most students at the high school had organized a walk-out. They marched on West Main Street in front of the school, shutting down the driveway to the auditorium. They soon marched downtown and protested in front of the offices of board members.
Although all teachers were eventually reinstated, the need for a union quickly became apparent. On November 18th, 1935, the American Federation of Teachers Local #434 was affiliated under the American Federation of Labor. This school year marks the 80th year of our union serving the schools and community of District #201.
Proud alumnus, union member, and educator in District #201 since 2006.
Dr. Hentze is the author of High Finance with Hentze, a monthly blog that provides news about District 201's current financial state.