MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - A North Carolina state representative is explaining the wording used in a controversial Facebook post about the teacher's rally set to take place Wednesday.
Last Friday evening, Republican Representative Mark Brody, who represents Union and Anson Counties, authored a lengthy Facebook post where he referred to the teachers attending the rally as an "inconvenience". In the post Brody wrote that "teacher union thugs" want to control education.
Brody was one of four state lawmakers who attended a meeting at Weddington High School Monday night. The elected officials tried to address concerns about public education in a room full of teachers, administrators and parents.
Brody spoke to WBTV after the meeting and addressed his controversial Facebook post. He explained what he meant by the phrase "teacher union thugs".
"When you pull the curtain away and see who's pulling the levers on this, it's the national teacher union and those are the ones I was referring to," said Brody.
His Facebook post has been shared more than 800 times and it has attracted a slew of comments. Brody admits that he has taken flack for the post.
"Yes, I am passionate and sometimes I get more passionate than I should, but nonetheless there wasn't anything that I didn't say was untrue in that," said Brody.
The state lawmaker insists he wasn't trying to say anything negative about local teachers in his community.
"I love local teachers. I love going into the schools. I love to talk with them. I love the kids," said Brody.
The state representative said he is still worried about how some families will handle the day away from school when parents still have to work.
"What are the kids going to do? Are they gonna sit home by themselves? I mean we'll never really know this. Parents have spent probably a lot of money finding babysitters," said Brody.
Brody was joined at Monday night's meeting by fellow Republican representatives Craig Horn and Dean Arp as well as Republican Senator Tommy Tucker.
The panel of lawmakers took turns speaking about the challenges facing public education in North Carolina. The group spoke about per-pupil expenditure, flexibility with the school calendar and teacher pay.
Kim Hargett, a veteran teacher at the meeting, told WBTV she is still skeptical as to whether or not lawmakers are committed to improving education in North Carolina.
"I don't feel that our legislative representatives are all in for public education right now," said Hargett.
She said she is one of the many teachers that plans to take her concerns to Raleigh on Wednesday.
Brody said he will have his office door open when teachers bring him their questions.
"I'll be glad to talk with anybody that wants to talk," said Brody.