Bryan Christopher: Students deserve better

November 7, 2013 

Regarding the Nov. 5 news article “Teachers ‘walk-in’ at schools”: Sen. Phil Berger was right when he said, in response to the statewide walk-ins, “there is a time and place for everything.” The rest of his comments, however, were absolutely wrong.

I teach at Riverside High School and helped organize the Nov. 4 walk-in. Fewer than 100 of our nearly 2,000 students decided to participate on their way into the building that morning. It didn’t interfere with their school day or compromise their safety. They were not “pawns” in anyone’s political game. I’ve never been a member of an organized union and have no interest in joining. We did not use “bully tactics” to “gin up” membership or “inflate executives’ salaries.”

Our rally wasn’t about NCAE. It was about denouncing the crippling legislation passed by our General Assembly and reminding our community that our students deserve better.

Indeed, there is a time and place for everything. The time is now to stand up for smaller classes, funding for new textbooks and retaining talented teachers like the ones I work with in Durham. And schools are the right places to model responsible citizenship, advocate for our young people and demand a better effort from our lawmakers.

Bryan Christopher, Durham

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