A line was crossed tonight in Holly Springs, NC by the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). A flyer for a planned Teacher “Walk In” was distributed to kids at Holly Ridge Elementary school in their ‘take-home folders’ today. This “Walk In” has been talked about in the media a bit but nothing hit as close to home as this did. This flyer had no business being ferried home by our children. Keep reading to see why.
I have no idea how or where it was produced, but I do know it appears to have been given out school wide. If this was done on the tax payer dime at this school, clearly some explaining needs to be done. I am willing assume that some teachers probably didn’t realize what they were distributing. It may likely be that some teachers or teacher assistants collated it with a slew of other materials to send home and didn’t really look at it. In any event, the principal has been contacted and asked about this, but no response yet. I will update when I get one.
The flyer has a website on it: www.Organize2020.com
This is a site affiliated with the NCAE. It is almost purely politics, shows shots of teachers protesting at Moral Monday and takes nasty aim at the Governor and the NC General Assembly in its banner messages like this one:
North Carolina lawmakers are showing reckless disregard for public education, teachers, and the youth of our state. Join with us to support NC education & the democratic process.
Now go read the mission statement, which ends with this paragraph detailing the point of Organize 2020 — to bring unions into our schools.:
As teachers, we need to be treated as professionals: with the respect and compensation commensurate to the critical role that we play in our communities. We need to have the confidence to be a powerful voice in the decisions that are made about our schools, curricula, and practice. We need professional support and access to opportunities for growth as professionals. We need time to plan lessons, assess and give feedback on student work, and build relationships with our students, coworkers, and community members without sacrificing our health and relationships. We need hope. We need a union.
This is pure political organizing using our children. It’s the NCAE using our kids to drive their own agenda. This isn’t about kids or education, this is about unionizing. This is a political agenda being toted home literally on the backs of our kids. It’s appalling.
If you think that this might be being blown out of proportion, consider this email sent by a teacher at Holly Ridge Elementary during a Teacher Work Day yesterday. Not only is controversy stirring Wake school board member Susan Evans involved, but apparently a “mayoral candidate”? Try and tell me this isn’t political.
Fraley isn’t the only one pushing this at Holly Ridge. WRAL has Bambi Lockhart on record:
“What we want is real positive change,” Bambi Lockhart, a teacher at Holly Ridge Elementary School, said. “The kind of change that will lead to student growth and global education. That will bring the best and brightest back to our state and our schools. And that will help stop the war on North Carolina public schools.”
Note the CC: on the email to Paulette Leaven, the President of the Wake NCAE. Leaven is remembered for her thoughts on how segregation would come back if we didn’t bus for socioeconomic reasons in Wake County. Funny how that hasn’t happened and how much she sounded like Reverend Barber.
I certainly hope Leaven is on hand for this event like the email says, because I will be there to ask the question of WHY this blatant piece of political propaganda was sent home with our kids. I’d also like to ask why I should even consider supporting them when they are aligning themselves with the likes of Reverend Barber and vitriolic mess that is Moral Monday.
Hey, while you’re now looking at the Organize2020 site, be sure you don’t miss their Tumblr account that tells us “What Our State Needs”. No, not political at all there. The lack of self-awareness from the first item to the third and fourth ones is staggering.
“We are a member led group of the NCAE doing grassroots organizing for public education.”
And because.. well, Education is SOCIAL JUSTICE…or something?
Stay tuned. Updates will definitely be coming.
10:22 AM 10/30/13: Pete Kaliner is reporting that Guilford Cty Superintendent sent a similarly worded email specifically talking about the Walk In to staff.
Also, if parents reading this have kids that received this flyer at Holly Ridge, the principal is Joy Gorman and her email is email@example.com
State wide education contact information here.
* Update – I have a screen shot of an email sent out by Nora Carr of Guildford County Schools that is promoting the Walk In.
11:27 AM 10/30/13: Guilford county schools promoted this event on their official Twitter account. Iredell-Statesville has also promoted it through official channels:
Iredell-Statesville Schools to host Walk-In http://t.co/bCOesuhdTB #nced #ncpol cc: @LadyLiberty1885 @PeteKaliner
— Jennifer Hall (@jenjhall) October 30, 2013
Wake County Schools are redirecting parents upset by this to their ‘official grievance’ process. Should I send this back in my kid’s back pack?:
@MichelleDouglas We are not lawyers – but we can offer advice. Talk to your school’s principal.
— Wake County Schools (@WCPSS) October 30, 2013
11:40 AM 10/30/13: Located a Twitter account called @TeacherWalkOut which points to a site called TeacherWalkOut.com. That site redirects you to here: http://ncteacherwalkout.weebly.com. There is a page with a list of the schools supporting this event. Look and see if your child’s is on the list.
Events in the Wake county area include:
- Millbrook Elementary School Raleigh Running events from the Organize2020Toolkit Event starts at 2:45
- Middle Creek Elementary
- Middle Creek High
- West Lake Elementary
- West Lake Middle
- Holly Springs High School
- Holly Ridge Elementary
- Holly Ridge Middle
- Event at Holly Springs High between 4:30-5:30 PM
12:09 PM 10/30/13: Civitas — “It is not legal to for a school to distribute political materials.”
1:45 PM 10/30/13: So far, not a single representative, superintendent, principal or official of any kind has contact me back on this. I don’t know which is the bigger shameful bit, using our kids to bring this home or the silence when questions are asked about it. *Note: The Principal of Holly Ridge has replied. When I have a copy I will update again. UPDATE: I have been sent a copy of the reply from Principal Gorman (below). I applaud her taking control and stepping up to act.
Terry Stoops at John Locke has observations about ideas for activities at these Walk Ins that include ice cream for the kids and Tibetan style flags.
I’ve also been informed that the Lacy Elementary event will be between 8 and 9 am. Right before school begins – I assume it is happened at the school? Parents dropping off their kids or that have kids in any early care activities will likely be able to witness this if that is the case.
2:34 PM 10/30/13: A reader has sent me emails from Lacy Elementary coordinating the Walk In event at their school. They actually wanted volunteers to assist because they are planning to meet while IN school, with the event broadcast on television??
The second email alters the request for volunteers after complaints were made but the event appears to still be planned to go on:
3:10 PM 10/30/13: Senator Berger and Senator Hunt have released a statement on the upcoming Walk In Protest.
Raleigh, N.C. – At least one North Carolina elementary school is soliciting volunteers over the internet to watch students while teachers walk out of their classrooms to participate in a politically-motivated one-hour strike next week.
And the North Carolina affiliate of the national teachers’ union has stated on record they “affirm the desire, and right, of educators to use tactics like a walk-out or strike” – a clear violation of North Carolina law.
Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Sen. Neal Hunt (R-Wake) issued the following joint statement Wednesday after being contacted by concerned parents:
“Schools have a duty to educate and protect our children, not serve as marching grounds for political protests orchestrated by unions. 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. Things have reached a new low when a teachers’ union is willing to abandon its core responsibility and jeopardize student safety for its own gain.
“As attorney general and our state’s chief law enforcement officer, Roy Cooper has an obligation to protect our children’s safety, and we look forward to his swift response.”
The statement continues to include examples I have just recently posted.
5:30 PM 10/30/13: I have received a press release from one of the “Mayoral Candidates” mentioned in the Walk In email by Stacey Fraley ( screen grab posted in the original article above). The statement is as follows:
Holly Springs Mayoral Candidate Vinnie DeBenedetto Withdraws from “Walk-In” Event; Denounces Using Children as Political Messengers
Vinnie DeBenedetto, a candidate for Holly Springs mayor, today strongly denounced actions taken by certain teachers in Holly Springs schools and called on the Wake County School Board to investigate.
“I am concerned that some children were sent home with what appeared to be political fliers for Monday’s ‘Walk-In’ event,” said DeBenedetto. “Children should not be used as props or political messengers.”
DeBenedetto is one of two candidates for mayor in next week’s election. While the Mayor of Holly Springs does not have jurisdiction over local schools, DeBenedetto says that the mayor has an obligation to ensure schools are learning environments and not used for political purposes.
“I call upon the Wake County School Board and the State Board of Education to look into this matter and see if any rules or laws have been violated. I also call on other candidates to clarify their reactions to these events”.
DeBenedetto had previously served two terms on the Parsippanny-Troy Hills School Board in New Jersey and was an adjunct professor of business. He had accepted an invitation to Monday’s “Walk In”, but withdrew upon learning about the fliers and the political nature of the event.
“I have several friends who are teachers in Holly Springs schools and I used to be a school board member and a teacher myself. I accepted an invitation to this event with the understanding that it was an opportunity to talk with teachers and learn about what I could do as mayor to help them. But when I learned that this was a political event and that children were being used to promote it, I promptly withdrew.
“I want to communicate with all concerned citizens in Holly Springs, especially teachers. As mayor, my door will always be open to anyone who wishes to talk. But I won’t participate in a partisan event that misuses children as political messengers.”
Current Mayor Dick Sears, who is running for re-election, has confirmed that he was also asked to participate. I have not received a formal statement from him yet. If I do, I will post that one as well.
It is also worth noting that the NCAE has taken down the Walk In page on their site. If this is an attempt to distance themselves, they are too late. I have the text saved. The tweet that originally came from the NCAE promoting it contains a link that leads to an empty page now. The Walk in Toolkit is also gone. I retweeted the link in question:
When you click the link to the ‘Walk In’ tweeted by @NCAE, it goes to a blank page now? https://t.co/cWlCjqPKTO @NCPlottHound
— LL1885 – A.P. Dillon (@LadyLiberty1885) October 30, 2013
THANK YOU to Carolina Plott Hound for linking.
THANK YOU to Pete Kaliner at WWNC News Radio 570 for linking.
THANK YOU to Civitas for linking.
THANK YOU to Doug Ross for linking.
You were so sure it was the NCAE!!!! That was very unprofessional of you!! Don’t do this to the teachers. You know them and you know where their hearts are!!
That’s because it was NCAE dear. The walk out was taken over by NCAE/Organize 2020 and turned steered into the walk in. That’s fact.
Go read again, including follow up posts. Also, check your twitter.
These children you reference would still be working 12 hour days in sweat shops if it weren’t for Labor unions….SHUT THE HELL UP!
Yes, Unions helped try to end that…around 1910. By the way, in 1994, the Gov’t issued a report stating there are still thousands of them in the US. So get back to work.
Unions do not belong in schools to add another layer between parents and teachers or teachers and the administration. period. Thanks for stopping by for some civil commentary.
Wow, kudos to you for continuing to post dissenting voices even when those voices are nasty and pointless.
Without both sides, no progress can be made or common ground can be found.
Honey, honey, states with strong teachers’ unions outperform states with weak and no teachers’ unions. And there’s always Finland, the most respected school system in the world with the strongest teacher’ union in the world. Do some research. Quit being a tea party dork.
I guess unions are so great that people, when given the option, start leaving them?
How can an added layer between your child and their teacher be a good thing?
Cite your sources. Links and be specific.
BTW, Finland is not a great comparison.
Also, please stop the insults or I’ll start trashing your comments. Thanks.
Lady, I am a busy person. I am an avid education researcher and teacher. I am also on an iPAD – not the best tool for citations. Your highest NAEP scoring states are in the north east, where teachers’ unions are strongest. You can download NAEP scores from NCES. Fordham has a study providing evidence of which states have strong teachers’ unions and which don’t. There’s also a Politifact article that I think provides some resources and is fairly balanced, even though I don’t completely agree with their final judgement. I will provide a link to that article. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/02/randi-weingarten/randi-weingarten-says-students-strong-union-states/
Did you just link to Politifact to prove a point about unionizing education?
Thanks for stopping by.
And what does your link to Ravitch, about how teachers are evaluated, have anything to do with the discussion at hand? It’s kind of funny to see you linking to Ravitch in an attempt to criticize anything I’ve said. What I have said, Ravitch would agree with, fully.
On unions? No.
You mentioned Findland… Not me. Relevancy.
I work at Holly Ridge ES and I fully support the walk-in. However, I can see where you are coming from. It was an innocent mistake made by caring educators who were not trying to protest or play politics but to let parents know what is going on in our schools. Our goal was simple, invite parents to an event where we could all sit down and talk about issues facing our students…your children. We as educators know that a 3rd grader taking 16 standardized tests in a year, plus the normal common assessments, is a bit much. But do the parents know all the testing that is going on? Kindergarteners, first, and second graders are also being assessed way too much. When are the students supposed to learn during the first quarter of school? That is what this meeting is for, to inform parents. Not all of our parents are as involved at our school as you are. Yes it started as a walk-out, and yes the teachers were upset about a number of issues (including pay), but when the smoke cleared and the initial frustration subsided, we agreed that it is all about the students. That is why we are choosing to walk-in and hold this information session. To all talk about what is going well, what we need to improve, and what we need to change. I hope you are planning on attending so you can see what our intentions are…nothing but positive for the sake of our students.
On a side note…Mrs. Fraley is not the bad guy here and is not the only person involved in this at our school. She is one of the hardest working teachers at Holly Ridge ES. She has taken on many responsibilities for our school and has led many events for our students to make school fun.
They say perception is reality. But in my experience, someone’s perception is not always the true reality. Again, I really hope you can make it Monday…we would love to see you there.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for this comment. I can’t tell you how long I was waiting for someone to bring up some of the items you did here:
We as educators know that a 3rd grader taking 16 standardized tests in a year, plus the normal common assessments, is a bit much. But do the parents know all the testing that is going on? Kindergarteners, first, and second graders are also being assessed way too much. When are the students supposed to learn during the first quarter of school?
YES!! THANK YOU!!
This over-testing is tied many things; some of which are initiatives that drain money away from budgets that could be used to pay our teachers more, get more resources in the room etc. This is a conversation that MUST be had.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I think lessons on both sides have been given here with regards to getting a message out and reaction to it.
From a parent’s perspective this was upsetting to see come home with a child once one went to the Organize2020 site on the flyer. It was politically charged and even if I agreed with some of the messages in it, it was inappropriate for the kids to be bringing home. As I bet you can imagine, it left questions in our heads about what else was being given out or said.
The Strike/walk out seems to have started with one guy out of Wilmington who has gone silent since and it looks like it ended up being hijacked by Organize2020/NCAE. I think the new website that is up promoting the HRE event, however, is PERFECT and takes this back from those outside groups. However well meaning they may seem, politicizing group like NCAE’s Organize 2020 are not helping. In fact, for parents like me who are behind our teachers, it hinders additional support. FYI I’ve promoted the new site in another article and tweeted it as well.
Regarding Ms. Fraley — she came to my Facebook page and left a comment to which I responded. I respect her immensely and was relieved to see her come and invite me as well. I don’t think she is a bad guy; but I do stand by my reaction to the flyer and email to staff sent. Like I said before hindsight 20/20.
I will be in attendance Monday.
Iredell-Statesville School district is fully supporting the Walk In even putting it on the district website. http://www.iss.k12.nc.us/Page/48110 and selling Red T-shirts for participants to wear. http://www.iss.k12.nc.us/cms/lib4/NC01000579/Centricity/Domain/43/OrderForm.pdf it is time we stand up to the bullys in Raleigh and tell them that Public Education matters.
Forget NCAE! You are missing the point! This is about the students! When we lose highly qualified teachers, that affects student achievement. Teachers are frustrated and have tried all other avenues (including what you suggested). And it just hasn’t gotten better.
I worked at Holly Ridge Elementary School for five years and I can honestly say that I have never seen a more caring and hard working staff. I only left because of the policies and poor teacher pay. I couldn’t afford to continue teaching, even though I absolutely love it. You are so far removed from what is happening in the classroom and you have no right to say the things you’ve said. And it seems clear to me that you have a political agenda of your own based on this post and many of the posts on your blog.
One final note. Parents should be extremely frustrated that we are losing highly qualified teachers everyday (due to poor pay and working conditions). Think about this. When a great teacher decides she or he has had enough, your tax dollars will likely be spent on a less qualified replacement. And you’re talking about sending home flyers!!??? Flyers that teachers paid for. Give me a break. Many people are now realizing the impact that losing highly qualified teachers has. You wouldn’t believe the number of parents that support the teachers at Holly Ridge (and many other schools).
You said that schools have a duty to serve and protect students. And I believe that Holly Ridge is doing a better job of that than any other school. What they are doing may be bold, but at least they are standing up for our children.
After reading your article in it entirety, I wonder if you even realize the impact of what’s happening in NOrth Carolina schools? And what are YOU doing to make it better!?
No sir, it is you who are missing the point that I have stated over and over and over here: THE KIDS ARE NOT YOUR MESSENGERS. Do not send home items like this with them, it is inappropriate.
I know who you are. Holly Ridge is an excellent school with excellent teachers. I support the teachers there. No where have I said otherwise.
Please stop making assumptions and false accusations because I have taken the position that promotion of this event crossed a line by sending these flyers home in our children’s folders. Not once has a teacher involved in this stopped and said, Hey, maybe it was wrong to send those home with the kids. To the contrary, I’ve received comments they think it is their RIGHT to send politically tied info home with our children. That is positively disgusting. You are teachers not their parents. The parents contacting me support Holly Ridge very strongly, but a large portion of them were equally upset by this coming home with their child.
I am not far removed, thank you for the assumption. Political Agenda? This blog definitely trends right, there you are correct.
Having said that, I have kept my personal politics out of this topic and am stating again the ENTIRE point of bringing this to light: KEEP MY KID AND OTHERS KIDS OUT OF THIS. THEY ARE NOT YOUR COURIERS. Do not send home items like this with them, it is inappropriate.
“And you’re talking about sending home flyers!!??? Flyers that teachers paid for.”
Is that sarcasm or are you being truthful there? The NCAE Wake President claimed they paid for them.
It is clear that you are using this one thing to cast a negative light on the school and the entire event. I hope those reading your blog can see past the flyers and realize that there are more important issues at stake.
I think you are far removed from the issues that are affecting student education. I could easily see that from reading your article.
This issue is about supporting teachers and providing them with a voice. Forget the flyers! Forget NCAE! What would you have teachers do that hasn’t already been done? We’ve tried everything and things have just gotten worse. Are we supposed to just watch our schools deteriorate? Or should we just all quit?
Just curious. What is your involvement in a school? I could be wrong, but I doubt you have spent time in a classroom recently.
I cast a negative light on the flyers coming home with kids — as it should be cast. The rest of it in other areas of the state I reported as I got them. Each of them involved kids in some way and sorry, I won’t cast that as positive.
“This issue is about supporting teachers and providing them with a voice. Forget the flyers! Forget NCAE!”
Yes, it is – they can have their voice, but NOT THROUGH OUR KIDS. No, I won’t.
“Just curious. What is your involvement in a school? I could be wrong, but I doubt you have spent time in a classroom recently.”
PTA, In Class Volunteering. So yeah, you’re wrong. Again.
Why was it you left Holly Ridge exactly? Just curious.
You should be happy teachers are not walking out, rather walking in. A hour of time, and even information sent home supposedly supported by a teachers’ ASSOCIATION (ere is no teachers’ union in NC), and you freak out like is? Gracious. Chill out.
Thanks for stopping by, but try not to insult me or folks posting here ok?
You should take a dose of your own advice.
On what exactly?
Lady Shmiberty…..you are WRONG. Completely wrong. I know first hand that the “walk-out” was originally planned by one person….not NCAE. If you choose to slam a group, you must do your homework. Your comments are the disheartening ones…..
“Lady Shmiberty…” Charming.
You know first hand? Enlighten us. Before you do, read my follow up article.
Dear “stocking” on the chimney…..if YOU read the N&O article that YOU posted, it clearly states at the bottom that NCAE funded the fliers. I did read all of your articles and am ashamed to call you a fellow Republican.
I cannot believe the ignorance in your blog regarding the walk out and walk in. Get your facts straight.
What facts were wrong?
Be specific and cite your sources.
Thanks for stopping by.
You keep saying that kids should be left out of this. They are exactly the people who should be the most involved! It is their education at stake. They have every right to be involved in the democratic process of discussion, debate, and protest. You underestimate students and their capacity to be critical thinkers. Your position that students shouldn’t be involved is naive at best and hypocritical at worst considering all the political acts that students are involved bin everyday (the pledge of allegience comes to mind). These were well meaning teachers concerned about students. They handled it poorly. MOVE ON!
Assuming you are correct and elementary students should be involved in this discussion, then it follows that students should be able to determine what their teacher is worth (salary), students should be able to fire teachers or at the very least demand a change of class or a change of school. It also follows that students should have a hand at setting the curriculum. If students can be expected to be involved in discussions of legislative policy about education and in political or labor organizing, then certainly it would follow that they have the right to treat their school and their teachers as service providers who can be negotiated with, fired or replaced.
You want students involved, put your money where you mouth is.
Mind you, this is hypothetical.
Schools and teachers are not service providers. They are part of the living organism that is the school community…students, parents, teachers, administrators, and policy makers. Those policy makers, unfortunately, are politicians. Therefore politics is inseperable from public education. Most educators do the best they can to work within those frustrsting confines.
State law specifically protects the right of teachers and state employees to speak out regarding the conditions of their employeement. The legal definition of political activities would be very stretched in this case as no political party or candidate is being supported. Teachers have the right of association and assembly provided it does not interfere with job duties (yes the volunteers in the classroom piece is problematic, but remember that came from the PTA, not school sraff).
I believe in empowering students. Their feedback is critical to the improvement of schools. School choice should br about choosing to support and improve your schools. They are PUBLIC schools. Help teachers and parents take back our public schools from educrats, deformers, corporate golddiggers, and corrupt politicians. Bring back the democratic process to our schools. If you are as pro-teacher and public school as you claim them put your money where your mouth is. 1. Attend a walk-in 2. Call out on the carpet state GOP lawmakers that have put public education in this precarious situation.
And you either missed or are dodging the entire point of my earlier response…Well done.
2. Call out on the carpet state GOP lawmakers that have put public education in this precarious situation.
Are you empowering for students to get involved in the “democratic process” with this kind of statement?
Your default position here is I do not support teachers. I’ve stated that I do and so I return to the POINT of my bringing all of this up:
Our kids are not your couriers.
You clearly feel kids should be thrown into this mess, and by kids I am talking about elementary school kids like the one where this flyer went out. Let me give you a newsflash: That is not your call.
LL, Thank you for continuing to shine the light on this. Despite the empty protests it is clear that you have not and are not attacking teachers. It’s about politics, political ideology, and the wrongful strategies that some people will use to advance their agenda.
BINGO and thank you for your comment.
I was one of the earliest folks invited to the Facebook page for the walk out. It was started by a teacher, anonymously, and then NCAE came out against it. My impression from following this on Facebook all summer and then the walk out more recently is that teachers have truly been searching for a way to make their voices heard. The Moral Monday rallies, letter writing, op-eds, etc., haven’t felt like they were making much of a dent.
And, let me say up front, I’m an NC teacher, have been for 17 years, 16 of which were in public schools both traditional and private. I have children who’ve been through traditional, charter, and (this year) private schools as well. I’ve taught grades 6-12 and my kids have been in school a combined total of 32 years. (Whew! That’s a long time! 😉 )
I hear what you’re saying about the flyer. Here’s what I would imagine happened:
Well-meaning teachers, trying to gather community support, thought: hey, let’s get parents involved in voicing our concerns about cuts to education, over-reliance on testing, yadda yadda yadda… Why would anyone object to that?
They were probably unaware of the political connections or political bent of the organization who created the flyer because, really, what teachers care about is kids and schools and what they’re fighting are folks who are profiting from our kids to the students’ detriment.
The idea of uniting parents, students, and teachers together is noble.
Did they do it the right way? No, clearly not. Should they have researched the organization creating the flyers? Probably.
I can’t personally, however, quibble with the intent of the event.
The walk out or in or wear red or whatever it is now was NOT started by any one political party. It was started by teachers who are concerned at what they see as harm being done to their students. Much like public education has been hijacked by political parties to benefit their own perpetuation and agendas, it seems as though maybe this is another case of that happening.
I’ll support it, even if the flyer comes from a group not aligned with my beliefs, because I agree with the sentiment. I do wish the publicity was done without partisan groups involved but what’s done is done. What’s more important to me at the moment is that teachers, parents, and students have their voices heard.
Thank you for taking the time to comment here. Let me thank you for your service as well — that’s an incredible amount of experience.
I appreciate your view and the idea that it wasn’t researched did occur to me and perhaps did happen that way in many cases. Having said that, that isn’t confidence inspiring specifically given the teacher portion of Moral Monday. I respect those who are speaking out, that’s not my beef. Sending stuff home with kids or holding events at school related to these grievances we’ve seen all over the news state-wide is not ok.
I don’t knock the intent at all, nor do I think I wrote anything demonizing it BEYOND the associations being made with the kids.
“The walk out or in or wear red or whatever it is now was NOT started by any one political party. It was started by teachers who are concerned at what they see as harm being done to their students. Much like public education has been hijacked by political parties to benefit their own perpetuation and agendas, it seems as though maybe this is another case of that happening.”
Whether or not they like it, it was hijacked and by a source calling itself an ally — the NCAE. The NCAE’s Organize 2020 did itself no favors with that website of theirs. Those of us that would be sympathetic to listen were instantly turned off by that.
I’ve written a follow up today. Give it a look and you’ll see more.
I support our teachers, but keeping my kid and others out of it is non-negotiable to me.
Incidentally, I am zero percent a fan of NCAE. They take a crapload of money from teachers and what do we have to show for it? Nothing. And their leaders are too weak to actually say anything substantive or meaningful.
That said, you have any ideas where teachers and parents should protest, if not at school? I hear what you’re saying, but really, if I’m protesting working conditions I’m going to protest at the workplace, you know?
I understand your problem there, but given teachers are state employees and schools are tax payer funded, having events like this there is not a good idea.
It also might be breaking the law according to the state employee handbook section that talks about political activity during working hours.
Actually, the Supreme Court has protected both student and teacher political speech at school in very clear ways. It has also noted what kind of speech is NOT allowed by both those groups (mostly specifically speech targeting individuals and speech advocating illegal drug use, though the written decision on that case makes it quite clear that it ONLY regarding drugs). What is also clear is the use of school funds. I feel like I saw in one your comments or updates that Organize2020 “admits” they paid for the paper and copying. If that is the case, then anyone involved should be sure that they are following the letter and spirit of the law, and it appears to me that there is not much “to be done about it” unless or until that line is crossed.
The distribution of said materials, whether they paid for them or not, on school grounds during school hours would also be an issue. As would holding these Walk Ins during school hours and broadcasting it over a school television system.
Also, here’s the facebook event for walk-out…… note… NCAE did not create it!
Of Course not, but look at the person who did…. btw, the facebook thing? It’s linked off the NCAE Organize 2020 page.
The NCAE took down all related items to the Walk In off their official page last night. That’s curious isn’t it?
Here’s the link to the walk-in facebook group….
I do believe that if you were to attend one of the walk-ins scheduled for your area and talked to a real live teacher, instead of buying the GOP “teachers are union thugs who waste taxpayer dollars and don’t care about children” line, you might find that your views line up more closely with ours than you think. Why would you try to make us look like bad guys for protesting policies that harm our children and amount to institutionalized child abuse?! Also, it is worth noting that the walk-in idea for many of us (I can say for sure in the school I teach in) had nothing to do with NCAE, but was a truly grassroots response to teachers planning to walk out on their students; a move that I find unconscionable. Students need us to stand up for them now more than ever, parents AND teachers! Politicians (from both sides of the aisle) are treating them as though they are products, data points, useless pieces of clay to be molded until they can take a test and find out how much “value” has been added to them. I for one say NO! This is not about me as a teacher. This is about our future as a democracy.
I didn’t demonize anyone, I called out what I saw where I saw it.
Why would you try to make us look like bad guys for protesting policies that harm our children and amount to institutionalized child abuse?!
I could argue sending this flyer home with kids is child abuse. Did anyone stop to think what they were doing here or were they so intent on making as much noise as they can they didn’t realize what they were doing here? They were using kids to get to the parents.
All roads led back to the NCAE for this event, sorry. Wherever it started, this is where it ends, with NCAE and it’s political arm Organize 2020.
Students need us to stand up for them now more than ever, parents AND teachers!
And in doing so, you’ve just made them choose sides in a battle they should not be in. Keep the kids out of it if you wish support from the parents.
Land you should fully support NCAE. The alternative is supporting the corporate assault on public education, for which you’d be crazy (or just uninformed) to support.
You mean like Common Core?
Yes, the CCSI is part of the corporate takeover of our public schools. Unfortunately, teachers’ unions and associations have been bought, like the politicians. Do some research on Bill Gates – he has more to do with how our schools are run than educators themselves.
I’m well aware of Mr. Gates involvements in education but rarely see anyone on the education side criticize it.
I can’t agree with sending home flyers with kids in their take-home folders and haven’t, but please realize that teachers, who were encouraged (the first peeps of it were communicated on FB and attributed to the NCAE) to have the “Blue Flu” on November fourth have outspokenly chosen not to participate in a walk-out because we know that it would be detrimental to our children. We’re not walking out on your child. It’s that simple.
Now, before y’all decide to roast a teacher for dessert, let me say that I’m a registered Republican who was raised in a Conservative family. I have never been a member of any union. However:
I would hope that anyone who sees him or herself as a Patriot would recognize that being able to think independently is valuable, especially as culture becomes homogenized and we are asked to blindly accept the Mommy State. My job isn’t to tell kids what to think, but if I don’t teach them how to think, we’re all screwed.
Having taught in some of Charlotte’s scariest schools, yes, education is social justice. Equality of opportunity – and what’s more American than that? – is rooted in offering a quality education to all kids. One can’t help into what circumstances one is born, and contrary to stereotype, yes, there are families who care very much that their children do well, and there are children who transcend their environments.
As for the other teacher-y stuff:
Tenure isn’t worth a nickel. NC is an at-will state. Yes, I can be fired. No, I don’t have a problem with that. We dislike lousy teachers even more than you do. They make our jobs harder.
When I signed my contract, I agreed to work for a certain amount of money for each year of experience. This is called a “step-raise”, and it’s about $500 per year, once you get past your fifth year. Our pay has been frozen for six years now. I am a 19th year teacher being paid as a 13th year teacher. I am being underpaid, per my agreement when I accepted my employment, $3,000 this year alone.
I drive 15 minutes east to get to my school. If I drove 15 minutes west instead, into neighboring Lancaster County, SC, I would earn $12,000 per year more for doing the same job. You read it right. Twelve thousand dollars per year. When my freshman son begins driving, in another year, I won’t have a choice except to go west. That’s a shame, because I love my job and the community I serve. I’m pretty good at it, too.
So, I’ll humbly ask for your support of the Walk-In, not because the NCAE thinks you should or the media suggests, but because we all benefit when kids are well-educated, and even if your child’s teacher has Communist leanings, she loves your child enough not to walk out.
I can appreciate where you are coming from and I appreciate your comment.
As I stated in another comment, I believe firmly our teachers have every right to protest or air their grievances. Having said that, they should do so on their own dime, on their own time and not use kids to tote this message home. I don’t expect them to keep their mouths shut about what is going on. I do expect them to keep my kid and others kids out of it.
Paper cars in a parking lot, stuff them in neighborhood mailboxes, put them up at townhall, the library.. I don’t care. Just don’t put this stuff in my kid’s homework folder. It’s not appropriate even if it’s didn’t have a political message. I keep hearing that we should be supporting our teachers and helping them to stand up to injustices — well then they are asking people to take sides when teachers do that. They just asked our kids to take sides and who do you think they will choose with their little heads who know not of politics?
Sending these flyers home or involving students in any way with this protest is wrong.
The walk out was the idea of several wake county teachers completely unaffiliated with NCAE which is NOT a union but a professional organization. The desire to support teachers and quality public schools shouldn’t be political. It seems quite childish that your opposition to an act to support teachers is because the other side is behind it. You will get the public schools and the society you deserve with this mentality. This state is bordering on treating teachers in the state as indentured servants and you expect them and parents and students to keep their mouths shut about it?
Sorry, you’re so wrong.
This was NCAE who started this thing. They even had it up on their website until last night. They pulled all materials to it and are leaving Organize 2020 to hang in the wind. Have you been to Organize2020.com?
“It seems quite childish that your opposition to an act to support teachers is because the other side is behind it.”
No where in this have I taken any sides. You are projecting.
My entire point here is that our teachers have every right to protest or air their grievances. BUT — They should do so on their own dime, on their own time and not use kids to tote this message home. I don’t expect them to keep their mouths shut about it. I do expect them to keep my kid and others kids out of it.
But the poster R. Jones said the walk-OUT was not planned by the NCAE, and you responded by saying that the NCAE is clearly behind the walk-IN. While the two groups may now seemed linked, NCAE vocally and quickly denounced the walk-OUT. If you think they were secretly behind it, that’s one thing, but then I think you should specify that you are speculating.
I have provided said link in the follow up I wrote earlier today. It appears that those involved in Walk Out were also of the NCAE member led group in Organize 2020 that turned walk out into walk in.
Either way, that is not the point of this article which was that our kids should not be used as couriers for this type of activity.
This is not a protest. If it was, teachers would actually walk out. This is an informational session inviting legislators, parents, etc. I strongly urge you to go to one of these and actually see what is happening in schools instead of just reading about it online. I also think this was to counter the walkout that was started on a Facebook page of someone not even associated with NCAE or education. Teachers have the biggest hearts and are made out to be villains. Disgusting and sad. It isn’t about the unions. It is about the children. And if someone cannot see that, then I think you should go volunteer for a week in a school and then write a blog post.
“I strongly urge you to go to one of these and actually see what is happening in schools instead of just reading about it online.”
“I think you should go volunteer for a week in a school and then write a blog post.”
Your ability to make false assumptions about me is disheartening.
This is a protest. You can paint it however you like, but that is what it is.
“I also think this was to counter the walkout that was started on a Facebook page of someone not even associated with NCAE or education”.
The walk out posed challenges, both time wise, legal wise and morally. This idea was scrapped and replaced with the Walk In of which the NCAE drove from the start. I didn’t just throw up a bunch of screenshots and links for nothing. It all traced back to NCAE. That is fact.
But does the walk-OUT trace back to NCAE?
Read the lasted article I posted this afternoon.
hey we could all just walk out and say fuck you, leaving hundreds of thousands of kids with no education and no where to go while mommy and daddy work? Is that better for you?
It’s obvious we get no credit in this state, so when we try to take action (and believe me this is a pretty tame action in my opinion)..why don’t you take a second to crawl out of our asses so we can try to better our profession.
Get YOUR children OUT of government screwls as fast as you CAN !!! They will thank you a million times!!!
Sure. Our public schools outperform any others, especially for middle and upper class. Do some research rather than spouting nonsense.
Lacy Elementary School is seeking ‘Volunteers’..
Grades 3-5 Room Reps
Parent Volunteers for November 4th
On Monday, November 4th, there will be a teacher walk-in at Lacy to demonstrate the importance of our teachers and public education in North Carolina. The PTA is working to provide classroom coverage that morning so that teachers can gather in the multi-purpose room with parents and other community members. We are in need of one parent volunteer to cover each of the 3rd – 5th grade classrooms from 7:45am – 9am on Monday morning. Thank you!
DATE: 11/4/2013 (Mon 7:45AM – 9:00AM)
Fire all union employees that work for the taxpayer. They have proven themselves corrupt, immoral, unethical propagandists that care little if at all for the children they are turning into sheep and zombies. Unions are the worst thing going in this country and have caused damage to the US for generations. If you have to be in a union to keep your job it proves you shouldn’t have a job to begin with. Unions are evil and should be destroyed. If you cannot stand on your own, we the taxpayer should not be forced to pay for your stupidity and incompetence.
First of all, it is Unconstitutional in NC to have a UNION. We do not have a teacher’s UNION! We have an association that advocates not only for the Educators of this great state BUT for the PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS of this great state too!
In past years, school districts have been asked time and again to SEND BACK discretionary funds to the state due to budget constraints. If you ask ANY parent, school supply lists have doubled in recent years. This is because there is not the discretionary monies available to purchase items for the classrooms for students to use on a daily basis! This adds to families financial strain who can’t afford some items on their child(ren)’s supply list. So, what is done? The TEACHER goes and purchases said items out of their pocket so that the child or children do not have to go without! YES, I know that said teacher or teachers weren’t asked to do it. YES, I know they volunteered! HOWEVER, since when does someone who works in the private sector had to purchase items they NEEDED to do their job? NONE that I know! My sister works for Publix as a design tech. ALL her materials NEEDED to design for Publix including the computer software is PURCHASED by Publix and not her. So, it’s ok to ask a teacher to dig into their pocket to purchase science items for that experiment, or to purchase the notebook paper half their class can’t afford all the while taking that money out of their household budget for the month! YES, month because NC teachers’ are only paid ONCE A MONTH!
This was asking for parents and community members to WALK-IN with the teachers to show support! This is FAR better than the other event that was being planned of a walk OUT! What would your child or children do that day? Who would be responsible for them? How many schools would have to send students home because there were not enough substitutes to go around the district? All GREAT questions I say!
Maybe your public school is not hurting, but there are many that are pinching pennies to keep class sizes down so that a child who needs extra help will receive it from their teacher! I have heard horror stories of class sizes in the mid to high 30’s. Children sitting on the floor, not enough books for the children to take home because that budget was cut and no money is there to buy more let alone new ones, and the kicker, children who struggle are told, “I’m sorry I can’t help you because I have another class of 30+ coming in right after you. Since I am the only one Science teacher now, I have ALL 6-8 Science classes!” This wouldn’t have happened 5 maybe 10 years ago. It happens today! Maybe not where you live; but, it IS happening.
I live in one of the poorest counties in NC. The only industries that employ huge amounts of people are the Scotland County Memorial Hospital organization and the Scotland County Schools. Most of our schools have anywhere from 90-98% free or reduced lunch because we have more children and families living in poverty than we have people who work. Our district was hit HARD over the past 3 years with those discretionary budget cuts! HOWEVER, we’re still here! Still teaching the kids! Still doing more with LESS! If it wasn’t for the children we see everyday and the smiles they can bring us everyday, who would stay? I never signed up to be rich as a teacher; however, I see what high unemployment, high poverty, and low wages do to a community! You might not see it in Wake County, but there’s more to NC than WAKE COUNTY!
Before you bash a teacher or what they are trying to do to raise awareness in the communities of what the GA is doing to budgets, testing, and the like, why not step inside and volunteer in a classroom. Come on down to Scotland County and volunteer and see what it’s like on the other side of the fence…. JUST ONCE! I welcome you into my room and I know any teacher at my school would too! Just come and stay awhile. You might just have a WHOLE new perspective of what these teachers in WAKE County are trying to do!
Thank you for your excellent comment and I appreciate you taking the time to come here to say all of that.
I have little doubt teachers out there are going that extra mile for their kids everyday from supplies to extra hours. I’m well aware of it and I have seen it first hand. I do what I can as a parent to chip in and recognize not all parents can. It’s not right. Comparing a state job to a private sector job in this manner is a good juxtaposition, but also know that in the private sector, employees usually don’t send flyers home with the boss’s kid to gain support.
Please note, I made no effort to ‘bash’ teachers for raising awareness, I did, however take exception to teachers using the kids to do it. There is a difference. I called out what I saw and why it is a problem. Sending flyers like this home with students is not appropriate.
Quick note on part of the comment ” YES, month because NC teachers’ are only paid ONCE A MONTH!”
Not all, but the bulk of NC state employees are paid monthly.
I am a parent. I do not want my kid put in the middle of any of this. That is my choice as a parent, as it should be.
I’ll repeat what I’ve said in another comment:
Teachers have every right to air their grievances — but to the correct parties and channels. They should do so on their own dime, on their own time and not use kids to tote this message home. I don’t expect teachers to keep their mouths shut about what they feel is wrong with the system. I do expect them to keep my kid and others kids out of it.
Nobody would get fired in NC. We don’t have a union (very few places do). And it’s unfortunate that you want to destroy that which helped make America’s middle class the envy of the world. Funny thing how the deterioration of America’s middle class correlates so closely with the destruction of the middle class. But continue to operate with your you know what stuck up your you know where and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain – Art Pope.
*the destruction of the unions
Regarding your third update:
Be careful mixing up the walk-IN and the formerly proposed walk-OUT. My understanding is that they are different, and it seems like the walk-OUT site is not often updated.
Also, regarding a sound, free, public education for all as “social justice”:
According to the Business Dictionary online, social justice is “the fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice.”
It sounds like education for all is indeed social justice. “Social justice” as a term actually originated in the Catholic church, and is based on the writings and teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Thanks, I noted the walk out and the walk in — they track back to the same place Organize 2020.
The walk out as an idea was scrapped in favor of the walk in.
I am aware of the origins, however the concept has been somewhat perverted by various agendas since. With all due respect, “Social justice” by today’s connotations versus the dictionary definition are not the same. I noticed you chose the definition further down instead of the first Wikipedia one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
Yes, but the walk-out was originally conceived by several people who were working on their own and weren’t associated with ANY group. NCAE immediately and publicly came out AGAINST the walk-out. It is my understanding that the other group saw the walk-out as a bad idea and proposed the walk-in specifically as an antidote, showing that teachers are indeed at school and not choosing to walk out that day. Now it appears that the walk-out people have changed their tune.
As far as the definition of social justice, I choose the Business Dictionary because it seemed less likely to be a liberally-biased source.
Can you point me to the origins of the original group? If so, I’ll gladly look at them and update accordingly. The sources I have found seem to circle back to Organize 2020.
Oops! “Chose” not “choose”!
It appears that I cannot reply to your comment below from 3:10, so please consider this in response. I think the media have done a poor job at coverage, and so I agree that it becomes difficult to track the originators down. Also, those originating the walkout idea did so under pseudonyms, further complicating the matter. There is a lot of conflicting information. For instance, the email above from Lacy Elementary staff even says that the teachers want to hold the “forum in lieu of a statewide NCAE walk-out day, scheduled for November 4.” As a school worker myself, I know that there was strong and clear backlash from NCAE against the walkout immediately. They had never supported it.
Looking at the Facebook page for the event, it seems like there is a serious division, and some people are still saying they should walk OUT. Part of my thinking here is that I cannot find a single place where the Organize group supports or suggests walking out. And if they are linked to NCAE, then NCAE has been vocally against it. The best I can do, however, is post links to places where it appears they are at odds. In all the articles done before the walk-IN seems to have gained ground a week ago, there is no mention of Organize2020 anywhere.
Thank you for these, I’ll weed through them today.
Where is AG Roy Cooper on this. This is the corruption and fraud that he is supposed to be looking out for. Oh… I forgot, he’s too busy circulating his petition for the fed gov to sue the state that he doesn’t have time to do his job.
When are we going to address these modern communist for what they really are?
Corruption and fraud would be labeling NCAE and its members “modern communists”
I am an NCAE member who voted for McCrory, along with many republicans in my school. Does this still make me a communist now? Quit labeling anything you are ideologically opposed to as “communist” and use your brain. Quit giving republicans a bad name among thinking people.
Where in my article did I label anyone a communist?
NCAE’s biggest goal is to go full union. That’s not news.
NCAE’s tactics in this case are repugnant. The teachers that carried out those tactics should take pause and consider how they came to use our kids as couriers or think it is ok to blast these walk in protests during school hours over an in-class tv system. Are they doing this on their own or was it part of the toolkit supplied?
“Quit giving republicans a bad name among thinking people.”
I wasn’t talking to you LadyLiberty. I was talking to Cress.
I did not know NCAE wants to go full union? I bet there are not many who advocate for that. I am a NCAE rep. For my district, and I know of no such push. Want to provide evidence? I’m not saying I don’t believe you, I just want to see evidence.
NCAE’s actions are not repugnant. You’ve seen the polls. People are pissed – the outfit that produced the message home is going to the extreme, but McCrory also went to the extreme – giving millionaires tax breaks on income and estate taxes, diverting public tax money for private schools, handing corporate masters TFA, SAS, and ACT millions of dollars for badly researched education initiatives, stripping public school teachers of their due process rights while continuing such rights for other public employees (like state troopers), and advocates for firing teachers if they don’t teach to the test or find other ways to play the testing game, along with so many more.
While I see eye to eye on many thing with McCrory, his approach to education is miserable, but what do you expect, where is he getting his information from? A TFAer advisor? What a shame for the kids of NC.
LadyLiberty– it looks to me like Jim was replying to R Cress, not you. R Cress calls someone (“these”? It’s nebulous) “modern communists.”
Oh you might be right. If so, MY BAD 🙂
I really might need to implement a different comment system. The basic WordPress one kinda stinks.