Wake Ed

New developments in Lacy Elementary School teacher walk-in controversy

There are some new developments in the controversy over the teacher walk-in planned for Monday at Lacy Elementary School in Raleigh.

One, organizers are changing the time of the event so it no longer takes place during school hours. Two, Progress NC is challenging state Sen. Neal Hunt, a Raleigh Republican, to attend Lacy’s walk-in after having criticized the event.

The event was originally scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. But organizers now say it will run from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. so that it won’t conflict with the start of classes at 8:30 a.m.

The N.C. Association of Educators has been encouraging teachers around the state to hold events Monday before school and/or after school.

Here’s the Thursday press release from Progress N.C., a liberal group:

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2013

Progress NC Challenges Sen. Neal Hunt To Attend Teacher Walk-in

What is he afraid of?

RALEIGH—Progress NC today challenged State Sen. Neal Hunt to attend the planned teacher walk-in at Lacy Elementary in Raleigh instead of demonizing teachers and parent volunteers. Yesterday, Sen. Hunt criticized the demonstration and suggested that teachers were politicizing school and endangering their students by having parent volunteers watch their classrooms.

“We are deeply disturbed the NCAE is encouraging teachers to turn their backs on their classrooms and leave their students in the care of strangers who may lack formal training and background checks," said Hunt in statement with Sen. Pro Tem Phil Berger.

Really? We think both teachers and PTA volunteers should be outraged by his comments.

Educators, parents and community members engaging in a conversation about the future of public education in North Carolina is exactly the type of activity we should be encouraging. But Neal Hunt doesn’t want anyone talking about the recent state budget he voted for that disrespects teachers and took teacher assistants, textbooks and supplies out of the classroom.

While teachers are talking about real issues concerning the teaching profession, classroom conditions and the future of public education in North Carolina, Neal Hunt is calling them names.

“It’s Halloween so we have to ask, what is Neal Hunt so afraid of?” said Gerrick Brenner of Progress NC Action.

“Is he afraid of the truth that the NC General Assembly severely underfunded public education? Is he afraid that teachers and parents have a different opinion? Is he afraid that PTA volunteers are dangerous strangers?”

“First, he should apologize. Second, Neal Hunt should go to the walk-in and engage in a real discussion about public education with his constituents. Isn’t that what a responsible elected official would do?”