Parents Speak Up as Bargaining Continues

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MEDFORD, Ore. – Megaphones blare among a sea of parents filling the front lawn of the Medford School District headquarters.

“I’d like them to open their eyes, open their ears, open their minds to what they’re doing,” said parent Jon Buckley.

Fourteen days of striking have left demonstrators with little hope, but plenty of energy. Many say they see the teachers on the picket lines as members of their family.

“They showed up for the kids’ dad’s funeral five years ago, every one of them,” said Cody Gossman, a parent at the rally. “They have always looked out for our kids and cared for them, so we’re here to support them.”

Fewer than half–49 percent–of the students in the district attended school on Wednesday. Many remained at home or on the picket lines.

Some parents say it’s to demonstrate solidarity, others say it’s because there’s little education going on in the classrooms.

“The sub is just there to sub,” said parent Tammy Shukoski. “They’re not really there to educate our kids; they don’t know them.”

But while voices boomed at the district headquarters, the negotiating teams remain silent – a good thing according to some.

“That both teams are still at the table is definitely a good sign. So, that being the case, we’re very positive about that,” said MEA Communications Chair Catherine Brasseur.

District representatives say progress is slow but moving. And while both teams acknowledged the possibility of a 24-hour marathon session, they also acknowledged it could take more days to reach an agreement.


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  1. Brooke says:

    It’s suppose to be about the kids, not the teachers bottom line.These teachers are making w benefits n bonus’s on the average of 100k a yr here in the valley. But they want more benefits and money. All the while our kids are graduating w out a basic education. They have a diploma but still can’t do eighth grade algebra or spell for the most part. The school system in the USA is broken. Sadly the USA is amongst the dumbest in the world..the most powerful country in the world has some of the dumbest people. What’s wrong w this scenario?
    Get rid of tenure and hold teachers accountable for their failing students. In any other profession you get fired for failing at your job, not more money and benefits.
    Why are we not protesting the teachers for NOT doing their jobs?!?! Parents! Fight for your kids to get an education worthy of 100 k a yr! Demand it! It’s your tax money paying them!

  2. Daniel says:

    Tenure has been gone in Oregon since the 90’s.

    The strike was about an out of control school board trying to take working conditions away. In business, if you don’t like the product, bottom line, or something else you hold management accountable. Why not here? You propose holding teachers accountable all while management ties their hands with unfunded federal mandates, irrational behavior, and short sided decisions. If one teacher performs poorly, sure fire them. When every teacher has nearly the same results it’s clearly bigger than them, so blame management for not getting the job done!

    My two children have great teachers that do their jobs wonderfully. My children test well and perform well by most standards. Clearly that means they have excellent teachers since they are performing well. So which children do poorly in my children’s class? The ones that don’t show up, the ones that don’t do their homework, the ones with home lives that don’t support them. My wife volunteers in their classes so I know it to be a fact. How can you blame the teacher for not making their parents make them come to school? Or not making their parents make them do their homework? How do you make parents accountable without making the government big brother?

    Yes parents, “fight for your kids to get an education”!!! “Demand it”!!! Our community, state, and country would be a lot better off for it.

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