Life is tough for some Dixon parents as teachers strike - – Rockford’s News Leader

Life is tough for some Dixon parents as teachers strike continues

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10 year-old Evan Zera 10 year-old Evan Zera
Dixon parent Kim Zera Dixon parent Kim Zera

A single mother struggles each day as the Dixon teachers' strike continues. She's balancing parenting, a full-time job and a child with special needs.  

Kim Zera has a 10 year-old in Dixon public schools, Evan. He loves weather and playing on the computer, but Evan is also non-verbal. He has autism, sensory processing disorder and ADHD. No school makes life hard for him and mom.

"Right now there is no structure and routine, we're having difficult days now. It was easy the first two days because Evan thought we were on holiday, the holiday is now over and he wants to go back to school." -she explains.

Without the routine that school provides, Evan's behavior can get destructive.

"He wants to hit himself with his hand all day, he needs sensory input and he will just go around hitting his babysitter, hitting mom because he needs that pressure and he's just confused."

A babysitter stays with Evan from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., then mom takes over. For the last week, Kim's spent half-days at work and that's eating up her time off.

"We were hoping at spring break to take a trip to Georgia to go try to tour the Weather Channel and right now because of this situation I'm going to be out of vacation time before that happens and we're not going to be able to go on vacation." -says Kim.

She doesn't blame teachers. Kim wants them to get what they deserve and says parents can get educators back in schools.

"It is up to us to contact the school board and those administrators and say we need something done now."

Superintendent Mike Juenger says the 3.75% raise teachers are asking for will break the district's bank. The disappointment for him is kids like Evan not being in school. The DEA and school board meet to bargain again Friday at 1 p.m.

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