NC teachers take part in 'walk-in' - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

NC teachers take part in 'walk-in'

Posted: Updated:
NCAE President Rodney Ellis says GOP criticism of Monday's planned teacher walk-in is unfair. NCAE President Rodney Ellis says GOP criticism of Monday's planned teacher walk-in is unfair.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Public school teachers, fired up over the state of education in North Carolina, voiced their frustrations Monday morning during what's being billed as a teacher "walk-in."  

"Educators are going to meet outside the building, wearing red. They're going to walk into the doors collectively, just to show support for one another and show that we're walking in and not walking out on Nov. 4," North Carolina Association of Educators President Rodney Ellis said.

That scene happened at Lacy Elementary School in Raleigh and E.K. Powe in Durham and other schools around the state.

At Lacy, more than 100 teachers and parents stood in front of Lacy carrying signs saying, "We love our teachers" and "Lacy Strong."

Five minutes later, they walked into the school lobby and to the multipurpose room, where they watched a video about teachers getting low salaries as some in the crowd wiped tears from their eyes. (You can see the video here).

After that, some teachers made speeches about the situation. Teachers did not get raises in the most recent state budget.

At Durham's Powe elementary, teachers, parents and students gathered at the front steps to discuss the issue.

"You see people where they truly are considering other professions. That's my concern," said principal Michael Somers. "The walk-out wasn't on November 4. I'm concerned come June 10 and days after that. You're going to see plenty of walk-out as people find other jobs or teaching jobs in other states."

Morghean McPhail, a fifth-grade teacher at Powe, said, "I think a lot of us were like, you know, especially in the elementary schools, 'What's going to happen?' And I'm not sure I want to walk out on my kids.

"The minute we heard about the walk-in, it just took off because that really signified what we're all interested in, which is bringing all of us together  to fight this together."

About two dozen North Carolina teachers protested at the state Capitol.

State law prohibits strikes or work stoppages by public employees.

The beginning salary for a North Carolina teacher is $30,800, although individual school districts can, and often do, supplement those salaries. But North Carolina teachers are among the lowest-paid in the country - the National Education Association has ranked North Carolina 46th in terms of teacher pay.

But the issue has been a contentious one in tough budget years. Gov. Pat McCrory's original budget proposal included a 1 percent raise for all state employees, but that was eventually eliminated in the final budget.

Monday's walk-in was denounced by N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger in a statement early Monday morning, who singled out the NCAE in his comments and called it a "media stunt."

"We appreciate the overwhelming majority of our teachers whose hard work and commitment are vital to the success of our children. And we appreciate the right of North Carolinians to exercise their first amendment rights, and welcome a productive dialogue," said Berger, a Republican.

"But we don't appreciate the bully tactics of an organized union that puts kids' safety at risk to gin up its membership and inflate the salaries of its executives. There is a time and place for everything – our schools are not the place for politics and our children should not be the pawns."

Some teachers were planning a walk out in protest over cuts to teacher's assistants, a freeze in pay and other reforms outlined in this year's state budget, but bowing to pressure from the NCAE, the event is now being called a "walk-in." 

Teachers at some schools planned to invite parents and lawmakers into their classrooms to see the work that's being done.

Still, that's not silencing critics like Wake County Republican Party Chair Donna Williams. In an email sent to media outlets this past week, she said of the walk-in, "Apparently, those parties promoting the event see no problem using students to deliver their message of unionization and to promote their upcoming union rally; however, the Wake County Republican Party does."

Ellis says the criticism is not fair.

"I don't think there's any crime behind just sitting and having a conversation," Ellis said.  "I don't know why it's such a fearful idea that parents come to the table and begin having dialogue with educators about what it takes to be successful in our schools."

Walk-in events were planned in Durham, Wake, Guilford, and Buncombe counties. In Durham alone, they are planned at least five schools.

It should be noted, many schools statewide are not planning to participate.

The teacher walk-in is a statewide effort put on by the NCAE.

RELATED STORIES

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:11:02 GMT
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
  • NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:46:55 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
  • State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:10:06 GMT

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Teen mom charged after baby found buried at Louisburg home

    Teen mom charged after baby found buried at Louisburg home

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:44:25 GMT
    Ashley Reed, 16, of Louisburg is charged with concealing a death after her infant was found buried beside her house.
    Ashley Reed, 16, of Louisburg is charged with concealing a death after her infant was found buried beside her house.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.