MEA Holds Education Session for Parents

2-4 mea meetingMEDFORD, Ore. – Unless a deal can be reached Wednesday, Medford teachers are going on strike.

Many parents say they still don’t know where their child will be attending school once they re-open, or which bus will take them there.

“It’s heartbreaking, and it’s really concerning, and it’s going to be traumatic for the kids,” said parent Steffany Miles.

The MEA held an information session Tuesday night for parents concerned about their children. Among their biggest worries is the fact that substitutes, although certified to teach in the state, aren’t familiar with each student.

Many have allergies or special needs, not to mention a relationship with their teacher.

“[My daughter] cares deeply for her teacher and she has special needs in certain areas of school,” said parent Cathryn Clark. “I’m afraid the people that are substituting aren’t going to be able to fulfill those needs.”

District leaders say parents will be getting a personalized letter Wednesday with a schedule for their kids.

Meanwhile, teachers offered what advice they could — places to get meals for their kids if their school isn’t providing any, instructions to send their kids with a note describing any special needs.

But they say in many ways, they’re in the dark too.

“The best we can do is give them the information that we have,” said Dan Jones, a fourth grade teacher and member of the MEA.

While many parents continue to wait for something that will ease their fears, others are taking more drastic measures.

“If it goes to strike, I’ve decided to keep my children out and support our teachers,” said parent Tracy Stevens.

But for all the hand-wringing, hope still remains that the worst can be avoided in tomorrow’s bargaining session.