Substitute Teachers Greeted by Picketers

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MEDFORD, Ore. — On Sunday, the Medford School District brought in substitutes from around the state for orientation.

At 9 a.m. Sunday morning, a loud and energetic picket line was back at work, this time welcoming substitute teachers as they arrived for orientation.

As five buses full of substitute teachers drove onto school grounds, picketers blocked their path, some even taking out their cell phones and holding them up to the bus windows.

Teachers said they are frustrated and are ready to go back to the bargaining table today, instead of waiting until Wednesday.

“Get back to the board… get back to the table and lets work,” said picket line leader and North Medford High School teacher, Nance Louise.  “You know we are here working… they’re there working so why are we not meeting and working.”

The District said since contract negotiation did not pan out last night, they need to take the next couple of days to prepare the guest teachers because education is their number one priority.

“We are very focused on having academic learning occur next week,” said Superintendent Dr. Phil Long. “That’s our goal every week.”

At Sunday’s orientation the guest teachers went over the Medford School District curriculum and emergency procedures. They took drug tests, and made ID cards.  The District would not reveal how many substitutes there were but did have this to say.

“We have more than we need to run all of our classes,” said Dr. Long.

The District said those teachers are prepared to stay for the duration of the strike.


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  1. Lucy says:

    Sorry Phil, the numbers don’t add up. If you had “more than [you] need to run all of our classes,” the kids wouldn’t be moved around and they wouldn’t be going half day! Yet another lie by the district!

  2. Ryan Navickas says:

    What bankruptcy of leadership in the district management has led us into this deep conflict? Rather than doing the labor of finding compromise, the school board and finely dressed administrators have opted to hire unproven substitutes from outside our community to babysit our kids’ classrooms. Our teachers are aching to return to the students to whom they have committed so much of their passion for teaching, yet are left out on the streets, forced to picket for fair wages. I hope my kids will have the courage of the teachers, who continue to exemplify leadership through the strike, to fight for fair employment, and equality in education.

  3. winona says:

    I am sorry to say that Dr Long was not being honest (or maybe he was given inaccurate numbers?). There were clearly not enough teachers to run all of the classes. I was there, I saw. No school that I know of had enough teachers to safely and effectively be in session. They should not have reopened until they had enough subs.

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