DALLAS TOWNSHIP -- As dozens of Dallas School District teachers walked into a work session and school board meeting Monday night, some people stood and applauded.
The teachers went on strike Monday.
The district superintendent says it’s the first time in the history of the school district that it has happened.
Many of those at the meeting Monday night had messages for school board members.
“They’ve been without a contract for 18 months and I think they’ve been very patient to wait as long as they did to strike,” said one man.
Some others called on teachers to make concessions, specifically paying for health care premiums.
"Why do you think that you're better than the rest of us professionals? That you don't have to do that?” asked one woman of the head of the teachers union.
Union leaders say they are trying to negotiate with administrators.
Salaries, health care, and early retirement are among the sticking points.
School leaders say they support the teachers, but financially, their hands are tied.
"Our district's current financial situation has been very clear,” said board president Sherri Newell.
Students are worried that if the strike continues into mid-December, which it may, they could lose their holiday break. Graduation may be pushed back, too.
"You definitely want to graduate on time. Something like this is a bump in the road, but I hope they can reach an agreement,” said senior Charles Giacometti.
"It's boring. I don't know what to do for a month now. I would rather go to school than be at home,” said Colln Perto, another Dallas senior.
Parents Newswatch 16 spoke with say they know the issues are complicated, but they want this resolved soon and they want the teachers back to work.
"I would really hate to see them continue. They said they can continue up until December 14, which would put them into losing their Christmas break, which I don't really want to see that happen either,” said Bonny Mannello of Dallas.
School officials say they will be having a meeting soon with high school seniors and their parents about graduation, which they hope to keep June 9, 2017.