John Edgerton: Time for teacher ‘payback’

November 1, 2013 

Regarding the Oct. 31 news story “GOP complains about teacher protests”: GOP lawmakers accuse teachers of injecting politics into the classroom? Let’s review the facts.

The GOP declared war on teachers as soon as it took control of Jones Street. It refused pay raises, removed job security, reduced the pay of teachers with advanced degrees and reduced the number of teacher assistants. Further, House Speaker Thom Tillis was overheard admitting the GOP was engaging in political “payback.” The results of this “payback” are lower teacher morale, good teachers leaving for jobs where they are respected and a decline in the quality and safety of our classrooms due to the lack of assistants.

There was talk of a walkout in response to the GOP war on teachers, but the NCAE encouraged “walk-ins” instead so that students and parents did not become collateral damage. The GOP responded with more threats and more attacks.

I’m the working parent of a special needs child, and a teacher walkout would be a massive hardship. Yet I would support it. The Jones Street GOP is a playground bully that won’t stop until it gets its nose bloodied. I value and appreciate our teachers and will gladly stand with them against petty political “payback.”

John Edgerton, Durham

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