DIXON – Cameron and Calista Crone, 10 and 12, had no school on Thursday, thanks to the teacher strike. But they asked their father to drive by their schools anyway, so they could see the action.
They did that, played in the snow and later dropped by Shopko with their dad.
Asked about the strike as they left Shopko, Calista, a Reagan Middle School student, said she wanted to go back to school. Her brother, a Jefferson Elementary student, added that he “definitely” backed the teachers.
So did his father.
“The teachers have been working without a contract for months,” said Dana Crone, 48. “I support what the teachers are doing.”
That was the feeling of most people interviewed outside County Market and Shopko on Thursday, including residents of Dixon and outlying towns.
Jeff Schnaiter, 55, an Amboy resident whose wife is a teacher, backed the strike.
“It’s a lot tougher job than people think,” Schnaite said. “They deserve more, and they deserve good benefits.”
Hughes Joiner, 68, of Polo, said his sisters and mother were teachers. His mother, a Polo resident, is 100.
“I can see what the teachers are going for. Give and take is what America is all about. There are always things they need in the classroom,” he said. “Teachers are underpaid.”
Annette Grover, who lives on the outskirts of Dixon, said she questioned how one person, Rita Crundwell, stole millions from the city without anyone noticing for years, yet society can’t give a little more to teachers.
“I have an issue with that,” she said. “Classes are overcrowded. These teachers don’t make a lot of money.”
One man leaving County Market with groceries had his daughters along. The girls also got the day off because of the strike.
He wasn’t happy with the school administration or the teachers.
“Both sides are wrong right now,” said the man, who declined to give his name.
Asked how long he thought the strike would last, he said it was up in the air.
“It depends on how stubborn they are,” he said. “They are practicing Obama politics.”
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