Teachers rallying for education - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Teachers rallying for education

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Thousands of teachers across North Carolina are participating in a "walk in."

It's the teachers way of protesting what they call improper funding to public education. Some schools are allowing the community and leaders to walk in the school to talk about the importance of education.

Many teachers have said they will not walk out on their students but instead raise awareness by staying inside the classroom and teaching students about what's happening to teachers across the state.

Administrators at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools' (CMS) Ranson Middle School had students participate in this effort.  Three rallies were held Monday at Ranson. They used the day to learn how to protest. We wanted to know were kids being forced to participate and were their teachers using students to push their agenda.

"Each school has done something different," NC Association of Educators (NCAE) President Rodney Ellis said.  "And we certainly don't want to be perceived as using kids to get our message across. That is not the message. We just want to make sure we are having conversations with members of the community so we are doing the best things for public schools."

Students heard their teachers frustration when it comes to their pay and not getting more money for obtaining an advanced degree. We asked the principal if conducting these rallies during school time was the right setting for this to happen.

"None of this is about pushing a certain agenda," Ranson Middle School principal Alison Harris said.  "We've haven't talked about pay scale or raises with children. But what we have talked about is when you have an issue or you want to take issue with something - what is the appropriate way. And this is very timely that we are voting on tomorrow and it folds into everything about what we do we to develop productive citizens."

Students didn't mind learning how to stand up for their teacher.

"I appreciate it," Ranson 8th Grader Isaiah Dowery said.  "Because I feel like I should stand up with the teachers, 'cause I feel like that is wrong. They don't get paid a lot of money for as much work as they do and I appreciate my teacher for teaching me."

Ellis hopes this type of protest will help.  He thinks the more dialogue the better.

"The more members of the community who are aware of what's happening in our public schools," Ellis said. "The more support we get as teachers."

Ellis says this is not over.  NCAE is planning more protests and are prepared to sue the state in order to make education better in North Carolina. 

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