MEDFORD, Oregon — Authorities have dismissed four tickets issued to motorists for honking their horns in support of striking teachers in the Medford school district.
The Jackson County sheriff's office issued the $160 tickets Monday at an elementary school, The Mail Tribune (http://bit.ly/1g25OPH) reported.
But the tickets were written incorrectly, citing a law against defective horns, and even if they had cited the correct statute, they might have been successfully challenged.
The Mail Tribune said appeals courts in three cases since 1992 have ruled that tickets for such honking violate the Oregon constitution's free speech provisions, which are considered stronger than those of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. The American Civil Liberties Union had announced it would support challenges to the tickets.
Spokeswoman Andrea Carlson confirmed Wednesday that the sheriff's department asked Justice of the Peace Joe Charter to dismiss the tickets.
They were issued at Griffin Creek Elementary School, part of the school district in the jurisdiction of the sheriff's office. Medford police said they hadn't issued any such tickets.
Meanwhile, progress was reported Wednesday in bargaining that's being overseen by a state mediator amid news that the district can expect higher local revenues.
New state estimates this week of the property tax and other local money that Oregon schools can expect will mean more than $1 million more for the Medford district's treasury, Superintendent Phil Long said.
As a result, he said, the district added a 1 percent, one-time payment in the second year of a proposed contract with teachers.
Union negotiators expected to present a counterproposal at bargaining Thursday.
The Medford Education Association represents about 600 teachers in the district, which has 13,500 students. The strike began last week, and school reopened Tuesday with shortened days, consolidated buildings and 200 substitute teachers.
Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/