Wake County teachers plan to take part in Monday's walk-in

N.C. teachers prepare for statewide walk-ins to fight what they call terrible changes to education.
November 3, 2013 8:16:50 PM PST
Teachers all over North Carolina are planning "walk-ins" to fight what they call terrible changes to education made this past legislative session.

Teachers are upset about changes made to classrooms across the state including loss of tenure, working conditions, and what they deem low pay.

ABC11 spoke to some Holly Ridge Elementary and Middle School teachers who plan to walk-in Monday from 7:30 a.m. to just before the bell rings.

"[This is] not a strike, it is an open discussion," clarified Holly Ridge Elementary School teacher Patricia Gribbon.

Holly Ridge Middle School teacher Kara Schwartz told Eyewitness News that classrooms are sometimes filled to fire code capacity versus an acceptable student-teacher ratio.

"There is no more maximum class size in classrooms...there's too much testing going on in classrooms, there's teachers leaving the profession because of the changes. There is not enough funding as a whole to repair buildings, buy text books, to update technology," said Schwartz.

Schwartz and Gribbon want to get the community and parents to talk about those issues in a walk-in, not a protest.  

"We've written letters, we've emailed legislators, we've gone to roundtable discussions and we don't feel like our voices are being heard there," said Gribbon.

"Anyone is welcome so they can listen to our side and so we can hear their side and figure out what do they want our schools to look like, because right now we feel our schools are not on the right track," added Schwartz.

The "walk-in" has received a lot of attention from North Carolina senators and parents concerned that it would take time from students, but Gribbon said that is not the case and that the walk-in is not about politics.

"We are meeting before school hours, gathering with parents and teachers, we're going to walk in support, before the bell rings in support of our schools," explained Gribbon.

"We'll wear red, we'll walk in, we won't hold signs, we won't pass out flyers, we will be in before the school bell rings," said Schwartz.

An after school walk-in meeting is also scheduled Monday at Holly Springs High School from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Schwartz and Gribbon do not expect anything to happen overnight, but are hopeful the walk-in will be a start to change they said needs to happen.  

"Whatever laws get passed, children still show up in our rooms. We still teach them, they still learn I'm still a teacher at the end of the day," added

Teachers do not know how many people will attend Monday's walk-in, but they do know at least one Wake County school board member has promised to show up.

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