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Parents, teachers and children unite to 'Take A Stand For Education'

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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. - North Carolina teachers rallied to send lawmakers a clear message Monday.
    
They wanted to stage a walk-out to make their point, but after learning they could be fired, they shifted the plan.
  
Parents, teachers and administrators say they hope “The Take A Stand For Education” rally sends a positive message to legislators and proves they're not backing down.

The rally outside West Carteret High School was one of three at high schools across the county.

“We’re all here because we care about education, and our community and we care about what’s best for the kids,” one Carteret County teacher told 9 On Your Side.

Several speakers at the “Take A Stand For Education” rally say they are fed up with cuts, lay-offs and pay freezes.

They’re frustrations; hundreds of teachers across the state originally planned to express with a walk-out.

But the rally served as an alternative, as the majority of teachers backed out for fear they would get fired.

Others who were in class Monday say they just didn’t feel like the walk-out was the right move.

“I feel like I’m one of the only constants in a lot of these children’s lives, and me calling out sick would be an injustice to them and they need to learn and I need to be here so I can help facilitate that,” said Alicia O’Brien, teacher, Morehead City Primary School.

While public employee strikes are against state law, Carteret County Superintendent Dan Novey says 16 of the district’s 700 teachers still decided to take a personal leave day. But he says they will not face any penalties.

As for teachers, they hope the rally sends lawmakers a positive message and inspires change.

“I hope that the legislators take into consideration all of the parents and community workers and everybody that’s trying to get their voice heard because the children are really the ones who are hurting,” one commented.

9 On Your Side called around to schools in the east Monday and most reported little to no teacher absences.

Instead, many plan to invite lawmakers into their classrooms over the next few months to see how these cuts are affecting schools.
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