September 24, 2002 at 5:04 PM EST - Updated July 12 at 4:26 AM
MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio – Just days after Maple Heights City Council unanimously voted to call for the school board to resign, local leaders met with superintendent Henry Rish, Action News reported.
Striking teachers applauded as local NAACP President George Forbes, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and other prominent African-Americans headed into a meeting on Monday with Rish.
They came after five months of failed negotiations and one month of teachers on the picket lines instead of in the classrooms.
There still no end in sight to the teacher strike that just happens to be in a district where more than 80 percent of the students are black.
"We're here in the best interest of the students of Maple Heights," Tubbs Jones said. "The only thing on our plate is getting them back in school so they can get a good education, and so that life can go on here in Maple Heights."
"Now the classes have changed, the complexion has changed," striking teacher Jessica Coleman said. "There are lots of Indian kids from India, Hispanic and Asian-American kids. It's not just African-American kids. We have a large minority population."
The district's chief negotiator is calling the vote for the school board to resign a "cheap shot." He said that money is the problem and the resignation of the board is not the answer.
Rish said that he does not intend to resign and neither does the board.