Belvidere teachers hope strength in numbers sends a message to the school district as their contracts hang in the balance.
At Monday night's school board meeting, nearly 200 teachers lined the parking lot to the administration building so board members could see them all dressed in black when they arrived.
"This is a movement of solidarity," said Belvidere Education Association vice president Kendra Asbury.
The board's agenda never included the contract negotiations. It is discussed in executive session as the two sides prepare for a federal mediator to work them through an agreement.
The BEA's president and vice president spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting."We have all different issues from class size to teacher pay," said Asbury. "We lost counselors at the middle and high school level. We want to bring those back."