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Students stage walkout in protest

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Thu, February 20 2014 at 6:31 PM, Updated: Thu, February 20 2014 at 7:26 PM

Medford, Ore. -- It's no secret, there's frustration from both officials with the Medford School District and the Medford Education Association over how long it's taking to find compromise on contracts.

However, there's also a lot of frustration among students. At 8:35 a.m. sharp, students at North and South Medford High walked out of class to show just how fed up they are with the strike and  negotiations.

"I'm starting to get nervous about senior project and AP tests," said North Medford High School senior Daniel Schuler.

"It was our student class president who decided we were walking out today," explained Melissa Hendry, who is also a senior at North Medford High.

"It started with social media and everyone just told everyone in class," said North Medford sophomore Faith Faasiusou.

The walkout resulted in between roughly 100-200 kids at both North and South deciding to leave class at the same time.

"It shows them that we want our teachers back," said Tanner Geyer, a freshman at North Medford.

Now two weeks into the strike and the number one complaint from students we've spoken with: they're not learning.

"I kinda just miss school, as weird as it sounds. Just being able to come to class and actually learn stuff," said Schuler.

"The teacher tries to do stuff, or some of them don't even try and it ends up being a socializing hour," recalled South Medford High student Allissa Whiting.

Now students are starting to reach their breaking point.

"It's ridiculous. We shouldn't have gone to this because they've been working on it for a year," said Hendry.

At this point, many say they're not concerned with the potential  consequences of walking out.

"I don't think we should even be going. I thought we should start a strike of our own," Lexie Bittinger, a 10th grader at North Medford High said.

Students said they've had enough and they're calling for an agreement as the strike hits the two-week mark.

"It definitely has hit home," said Schuler.

While students demonstrated on Thursday, there's also word spreading about an occupy demonstration at the district's headquarters on Friday.

Supporters said they plan to enter the building to demand a fair contract.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

Connect with Christine

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