CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Protect Education Rally was held in front of the Gaillard Center where organizers touched on several different topics ahead of Monday’s Charleston County School Board meeting.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Lowcountry Up is Good Political Action Committee executive director William Hamilton said, “there are men and women in that room right over there that don’t believe our schools should parent their kids.”
Local leaders rallied for students who they say are not being provided the necessary support or resources to be successful in the classroom.
“There are kids that wake up and are lucky if they have their own breakfast at home,” Hamilton said. “They put on whatever rags they got; they walk to school by themselves. They arrive hungry and scared and alone.”
Lowcountry Up is Good PAC hosted Monday’s Protect Education Rally. They also believe Charleston County School District (CCSD) has too many conservative members currently sitting on the school board.
“They’re all based in a particular brand of religious identity that sociologists are calling White Christian Nationalism,” CCSD parent Bonnie Cleaveland said.
And they believe their conservative views are adversely impacting curricula being taught in CCSD schools.
“In schools,” Cleaveland said, “White Christian Nationalists are targeting social-emotional learning, sex education, Black history and LGBTQ students.”
Increased compensation for teachers was also discussed at the rally, which was a prominent topic of discussion at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
“I drive a car I pray that won’t break down because I can’t afford a new one,” one CCSD teacher said. “We get paid twice in a month, and I can’t pay my rent with one of my paychecks, let alone my power bills, to eat or anything.”
Several CCSD educators spoke about their need for increased wages.
“We need to treat teaching as a profession, not as a side hustle,” another CCSD teacher said.
And after, the board viewed a presentation by the Teacher Compensation Task Force.
CCSD educators and board members say talks about increased wages for teachers will continue.