Letters to the Editor

Teacher protest gets mixed reaction

Teachers rally outside the Capitol on April 27, 2018 in Phoenix on their second day of walkouts. Teachers in Arizona and Colorado walked out of their classes over low salaries keeping hundreds of thousands of students out of school. It's the latest in a series of strikes across the nation over low teacher pay.
Teachers rally outside the Capitol on April 27, 2018 in Phoenix on their second day of walkouts. Teachers in Arizona and Colorado walked out of their classes over low salaries keeping hundreds of thousands of students out of school. It's the latest in a series of strikes across the nation over low teacher pay. AP

Walkout ‘shameful’

What kind of example are teachers setting for our young people in the public school system these days? if you are a teacher and unhappy about your pay, forget about your mission of teaching and providing much needed moral, ethical, emotional and physical support to the younger generation.

Just go ahead, turn your backs and walk out on them. Shameful that in this great nation of ours our army of “K1-12 educators” can’t take on the task themselves without crying incessantly about how put out they are because of their pay. $40,000 + medical + time off + pension doesn’t mean enough to you to show up for work and stay in class?

The kids try to look up to you and stay in class, but how can they possibly when you walk out on them? Just maybe the disgruntled teachers should go to work at a coffee shop or a large hardware store or a gas station – or better yet, go and teach in The Philippines or Indonesia for awhile. Then they may get a bit of educational knowledge to impart on our young people, or at least their own children.

Ian Batchelor

Raleigh

Best interests?

I read Wake County schools will close May 16 due to so many teachers “asking” for the day off to attend the “March for Students and Rally for Respect” in Raleigh at the General Assembly, an indication the ‘audience’ are our legislators.

When so many employees “ask” for time off, not every request can or should be approved. This is the way it is in the private sector, but I guess that would be expecting too much. Nor should we expect teachers to rally on their time, not during work hours. If they truly cared for students they would not interrupt the school week.

And what ‘respect’ are they rallying for? Surely not for students that are completing the last phase of the school year when their attention should be paid to their finals. To see the Wake School Board cower to the “request” as politicians might is equally disappointing.

The board states it’s “in the best interests of all partners.” Well, I guess the parents are not considered “partners” as they now have to make arrangements for their children as schools will be closed.

Anthony Bruno

Cary

Saving money

Can someone please let me know how much taxpayer money we can save by not paying teachers for going on strike May 16 instead of teaching our children?

Steven Metzler

Raleigh

Support protest

As a former principal, teacher and Wake County school board member, I have always been opposed to any form of teacher walkouts but I have changed my mind and fully support the May 16 closings for educators to rally in Raleigh. This is the opening day of the “short session” of the General Assembly. I hope our legislators will take the time to meet with their constituents on this day. I am also glad that many Boards of Education are taking the unprecedented step of making this an optional teacher workday.

However, I hope our leaders will express their support of the rally and not only justify closing due to too many teachers being absent. Our local boards know how many unfunded and partially funded mandates have pinched budgets. They know how difficult it is to hire and retain quality staff due to low pay, harsh criticisms and an over-emphasis on standardized test results.

Do you believe that the state of public education is better or worse than it was before the recession of 2008? If you think it is worse, then join or voice your support of educators as they rally for better educational opportunities for all students, regardless of where they live in our state.

Tom Benton

Zebulon

‘Recruitment tool’

On my daughter’s charter school Facebook group, one parent asked if the school was going to be closed on May 16 due to the teacher rally. Another parent said, “That’s too bad we aren’t closed.” There is some sort of rally or march every two years when a new budget is in the process of being created. What makes this special is that enough teachers are participating to close entire school districts.

Although they are not a union, the North Carolina Association of Educators is using the union’s playbook to get their message across. It’s not that teachers are so uncaring that they are taking the day off near the end of the school year. They’re gathering on May 16 because it’s the first day the legislature is in session.

I am all for teachers getting paid more; however, this political grandstanding just shows that students are not the priority of NCAE. Consider that this is a great recruitment tool to increase membership and keep NCAE a viable organization in a non-union state.

Connie Barbour

Smithfield

What about students?

So my child and all those who attend Wake County public schools are being deprived a day of instruction so the teachers can go protest at the General Assembly? I suppose I should be happy it’s just one day.

However, the General Assembly is quite adept at ignoring protests, so I anticipate a full-blown teachers’ strike next fall. Something to look forward to – not.

Steve Clark

Cary

Think of children

How strange that elected Republicans are now so worried about the well-being of our children during the teacher march on May 16. These are the same Republicans who have spent the past years cutting funds for schools and gutting programs to help children in need.

On a national level, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a plan to separate immigrant families and President Trump is seeking to cut $15 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Any thoughts about the children?

If our elected Republicans were as concerned about children as they are about, say, the NRA, the May 16 protest wouldn’t be happening.

Mark Slattery

Raleigh

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