Holly Ridge ‘Walk In’ Reclaimed From Political Tug Of War

An update in the ‘Walk In’ flyer story:

I was sent a link to a website: http://hollyspringswalkin.weebly.com/

The text is as follows:

There have been many recent inaccuracies reported about this coming Monday’s events scheduled.  This page will serve as a basic source of information to alleviate any political involvement or affiliation.

The goal for November 4th is to bring together parents and teachers along with other community members to have a positive conversation about our children and education.  

Here is what we are planning in Holly Springs:

At Holly Ridge Elementary…
Teachers will meet outside of the school at 8:30 AM and walk in together at 8:45 with the bell

For all Holly Springs Schools…
Meet at Holly Grove campus at 4:30
Walk to Holly Springs High School
Meet with parents and teachers to discuss these three main questions:

o    What makes us proud of our school and school system?

o    What concerns do we have about our school and school system?

o    What do we want our school and school system to look like?

 

Excellent. Perfect. Take it back and own it. YES.

I take exception only to the first sentence’s ambiguity. There was no doubt from the flyer that this event was associated with Organize 2020. The website was right on it. It appears NCAE Wake County President Larry Nilles is still an admin of the Wake Nov 4th Walk In Facebook group.  I hope he is attending on Monday and is asked why NCAE dropped the event from their website.

If Holly Ridge is taking this back from the NCAE’s Organize 2020 and running on their own, I stand right behind them — as I have from the start despite claims to the contrary. My line in the sand was the participation of children in this, it was never about the right of teachers to speak out.

Yes, I’ve seen the comments like “they should be involved, it’s their education” and “what affects the teacher affects the student”.  Those are cop-outs. You are the adults. This is your job – your profession, not theirs. The grievances here all flow back to legislative matters, funding, budgets and items not in the sphere of influence of children, but of adults — Parents, Taxpayers and Teachers.

Having said that, I stand by the position that kids should not be used as leverage in these discussions, whether good intentioned or not:

Teachers can and should air their grievances just like any employee anywhere else has a right to do.  Being state employees puts limitations on how and where that grievance airing can be done. That is part of being a public employee.  Those limitations are there for a reason; your jobs are funded by the taxpayers.  It is illegal for state employees to conduct political activity on the state’s time or the state’s dime. This series of events has been proven to do be treading on the grounds of doing just that. In general, it should be repugnant to all that any of this activity was involving our kids.

While Holly Ridge has corrected course after the flyer misstep, Iredell-Statesville is promoting the Walk In on their official website.
On another note, I was asked to look deeper into the original matter of the walk out/strike that was organized on Facebook and eventually hijacked by the NCAE/Organize 2020. I have new information regarding that event I will share today. An article will be coming later today.

Related reads: Walk In, Walk Out or neither

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in EDUCATION, LL1885, The Articles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Holly Ridge ‘Walk In’ Reclaimed From Political Tug Of War

  1. Donna Williams says:

    Did you attend today? Your thoughts?

    Conservatively yours, Donna Williams Wake GOP Chair   “The work of volunteer groups throughout our country represents the very heart and soul of America. They have helped make this the most compassionate, generous, and humane society that ever existed on the face of this earth.” Ronald Reagan

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    • I did attend and will have a write up with video coming some point tomorrow, schedule willing.
      There were many things that lined up with complaints already made and some things that need further defining. I was very pleased to see Holly Ridge driving this themselves despite Wake President of NCAE Larry Nilles in attendance. The NCAE, in my opinion, has hindered more than helped teachers in recent days.

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  2. K. Schwartz says:

    I’ll debate the point even though I know you won’t change your mind. YOU are the person who called the flyer “political” because it had the wesbite of an organization that in its last line of its mission said, “We need a mission.” You overlooked all the other positive aspects of Organize2020’s mission and chose to focus on one sentence that, for some reason, upsets you. In hindsight, the people who put out the flyer realize that they should not have had that website on the flyer and instead should have had the PTA’s name on it as it was advertising a parent and teacher event. Hindisght is always 20/20.

    If you come to the rally or speak to the people who put out the flyer, then you would realize that the intent of the rally is definitely NOT about unions. You and the Wake County GOP have decided it must be about unionizing and refuse to accept any other idea. (Does the fable about the 4 blind men and the elephant ring a bell? They only felt one piece of the elephant and made an assumption about what they were feeling. Their perception was not wrong to them, but they were far from the truth.)

    Because the rally and the flyer were not pro-union nor were they pro-Democratic nor pro-Republican, the flyer was not “political.” In fact, the organizers of the even emphatically did not want the even to be about politics. How do I know this? Because I was at a meeting where the direction of the rally was discussed and I hear one of the main organizers say emphatically she did not want it to be about politics; she wanted it to be positive. Therefore, the teachers at HRES did not break any laws.

    I’d argue that the teachers of HRES were actually doing what their code of ethics requires them to do. If you read the teacher code of ethics (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/effectiveness-model/ncees/standards/code-of-ethics.pdf) it states: “The responsibility to teach and the freedom to learn, and the guarantee of equal opportunity for all are essential to the achievement of these principles.” Part of the code states that a teacher must take “action to remedy an observed violation of the Code of Ethics for North Carolina Educators and promotes understanding of the principles of professional ethics.” The teachers of Holly Springs and across the state are taking action because the school system no longer guarantees equal opportunity for all with the changes that have been made.

    The rally is not so much about teacher pay but about the shortchanging of our students and their education.

    I won’t pretend that I will change your mind, and that is okay. In schools, we teach tolerance and I understand that you are too closed-minded to realize that your thinking was erroneous. However, that is okay because people are entitled to their beliefs.

    I do have a question for you that I hope you will deem to answer. Exactly why would you be so upset if teachers did form a union? Joining a union is not illegal; however, in NC there is no point to teachers joining a union. Per our law, § 95-98. “Contracts between units of government and labor unions,trade unions or labor organizations concerning public employees declared to be illegal.” A union doesn’t do teachers any good, (which is another reason why the rally and flyer were not about creating a union.)

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    • 1. It was more than the mission statement, which ends with WE NEED A UNION. Images of protest, moral monday and disparaging bits about the NCGA were posted on the site. It was political in nature despite all the other content. It was inappropriate to send home with children.

      2. The intent of the rally was unclear from the flyer, which the only clue left on it as to intent was an address the Organize 2020 website. Do not assume I am in line with GOP messaging on this just because this blog is conservative. I responded as a parent who does not want political activity, perceived or not, in my child’s learning space or in their backpack.

      3.Quoting the code of ethics when children were used to send a message about a protest is kind of sad.

      4. “I won’t pretend that I will change your mind, and that is okay. In schools, we teach tolerance and I understand that you are too closed-minded to realize that your thinking was erroneous. However, that is okay because people are entitled to their beliefs.”
      Doctor, heal thyself.

      5. I’m well aware of the state statutes on unions and that we are a right to work state. As a parent and taxpayer, I do not want another layer added between me, my child and their teachers. The same applies administrators and lawmakers. Public sector unions have proven to be costly, letigious and cumbersome. On the whole, they also make budgeting woes worse while lining their pockets with dues garnered from people paid by the taxpayer. By the same token, I also find most lobby groups to be more of the vampire persuasion than the White knight on a horse variety.

      I’ll state this again, since it’s not getting through: I didn’t state this flyer was about teachers creating a union. I stated the group behind the flyer has that in it’s mission statement. No where did I claim teachers should not air their grievances nor did I mention any of their specific grievances. My focus was on why this flyer with that website came home with kids.

      Thank you for taking time to come by and comment. I do appreciate it and contrary to some of the comments here, I am not the enemy. I am a parent first and foremost. Just as you are protecting your job, work environment and also the kids, SO AM I.

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  3. K. Schwartz says:

    You said it is “illegal for state employees to conduct political activity on the state’s time or the state’s dime.”

    To which specific law do you refer?

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    • Pg 12 of the state employee manual

      POLITICAL ACTIVITY

      Being a state employee does not take away your constitutional rights such as voting (see below).

      However, employees subject to the State Personnel Act may not:
      Take an active part in managing a campaign, campaign for political office or
      otherwise engage in political activity during working hours
      Use the position‘s authority or use state funds, equipment, supplies or vehicles to support
      or oppose a candidate, party or issue of an election
      Promise rewards to a state employee or applicant for state employment to gain
      support for or a contribution to a candidate or party*
      Threaten the employment of another state employee or applicant for failure to support or
      contribute to a political candidate or committee*

      * Such actions are subject to criminal penalties under the law

      NC Chapter 126. State Personnel System. Article 5. Political Activity of Employees
      http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50statetablestaffandpoliticalactivitystatutes.aspx#NC

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