MEDFORD, Ore. — Within an hour of the strike announcement, Medford teachers showed up to the district office with signs in hand. The picketers began early Thursday morning and were expecting to wrap up for the day around 4:30 p.m.
Many of the signs held by teachers outside the district office were made at the strike office Wednesday night. Teachers that NewsWatch12 spoke with in the picket lines said they went to bed hopeful and woke up ready to picket for their cause.
By mid-morning, teachers lined the entire sidewalk surrounding the district office and Central Medford High School. The crowd would occasionally break out in chants supporting their cause, and every teacher in the picket line held a sign urging for a new contract that would meet their standards.
Horns of cars driving by could be heard seemingly constantly in support of the teachers. However, occasionally a passerby would give a thumbs down to the demonstrators.
Teachers could be heard day-dreaming about what they would typically be doing with their students at various times during the day, and a messaged echoed over and over was the need to get back into the classroom for the students’ sake.
“Hopefully this will end as soon as possible. The district has the ability to end this right now, and we all would rather be in our classrooms,” said Picket Captain Sara Major.
Community members also turned out. Some stood side by side with teachers. Others dropped off coffee or snacks to keep the teachers going.