There are a lot of reasons that supporters of public education in North Carolina are speaking up and showing their support today by “walking in” to public schools. Today’s “Monday Numbers” edition of the Fitzsimon File spells several of them out with disturbing clarity.
Yesterday’s editoral in the Charlotte Observer also hit the nail on the head when it explained:
“Supporters of teachers and public schools are encouraged to visit schools, wear red to symbolize support for education, thank teachers in person or leave messages of thanks. Teachers at some schools plan to urge supporters to join school parent groups or volunteer or support schools in other ways. At some schools, there are plans for discussions before and after classes about what teachers are facing each day….
This sounds like a good approach.
GOP Senate leader Phil Berger last week lambasted the ‘walk in’ as a ‘political protest orchestrated by unions” and reminded the teachers that “schools have a duty to educate and protect our children.’ But it is the legislature that has acted politically and forgotten the needs of N.C. children. Lawmakers, too, are vested – it’s in the state Constitution – with the responsibility to ‘educate and protect our children.’
Legislators who have criticized the ‘walk in’ might want to walk in themselves. They apparently need some lessons on the valuable and difficult work teachers do in N.C. classrooms. Getting this education might spur lawmakers in the next legislative session to put in place policies that will help, not harm educators. They are doing one of the most important jobs around – teaching the people who will be our future leaders. Short-changing teachers short-changes all of us.”