Teachers bring 'Red For Public Ed' campaign into classrooms - WNCT

Teachers bring 'Red For Public Ed' campaign into classrooms

GREENVILLE, N.C. -

It's a color that stands for anger, passion and action: red.

That's why teachers across our state say they showed up wearing the color for the first day of school. It's all part of their "Red for Public Ed" campaign to protest education cuts.

"The first day of school is important because it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the year," says Mary Carter, principal of Wintergreen Primary and Intermediate in Greenville, who wore a red blazer Monday.

Setting the tone is exactly what teachers were doing when they walked into their classrooms rocking red.     

"Red is a symbol of action," says Mary Robinson, a teacher at South Central High School. "It also shows our outrage at the General Assembly's budget."

The spending plan cut $117 million from education and did not include any pay raises for teachers, whose salaries already rank near the bottom in the nation. It also funneled millions of taxpayer dollars into a new voucher program for private schools, eliminated master's degree pay and ended teacher tenure.

Even more worrisome to teachers is the fact that these cuts happened at a time when teaching positions are shrinking and the student population is growing.

"Teachers are at the forefront and they deserve our support in every way, including monetarily," Carter says.

"Red for Public Ed" is a statewide campaign filled with protests and rallies.

"Part of our jobs as teachers is to bring awareness to students," South Central High School teacher Lauren Piner says as a reason behind bringing the campaign into the classroom.

It's a movement teachers say will show students it's okay to fight for what you believe in.

"I'm going to do the best I can with what I have," Piner says. "Even though I may not have the resources, I still have the passion and I think that will show to the students." 

Red will be a staple in teacher wardrobes this fall. They plan to wear it every Wednesday until lawmakers agree to make some changes.

 

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