Gaston Co. teacher attracts attention for going to work instead of rally

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Despite the crowd of teachers in Raleigh for Wednesday's teachers march, not all educators agree with the event.

One Gaston County teacher chose not to attend, and was one of the only who went to work, instead.

Cissy Wyant's son Jonathan Fletcher posted a photo of her doing just that, to his Facebook account.

The image shows his mother grading papers at her desk, surrounded by empty student seats.

Chairman of the Gaston County Republican Party, it is an image Fletcher hoped would send a message to his social media flowers.

"I think we should be thankful for what we have, rather than just complaining because things aren't exactly the way we want them," he says.

Nearly 200 miles down the road, his mother's peers spent the day marching for better funding, and better conditions in classrooms across the state.

"I asked [my mom] what she was planning on doing today," Fletcher says. "And she told me she was going into work."

It is something she was not required to do. Gaston County is one of several across North Carolina that called Wednesday an optional workday for school employees.

"I'd seen so many comments from people all over the state talking about how the teachers were just taking a day off, and I wanted people to know my mom was at work today and was doing her job," Fletcher says.

He says his mom wants many of the same things as those making up the sea of red-clad teachers crowding the capitol, but that she does not agree with their method.

She believes the state is doing enough to get them those things.

"She just didn't feel like it made sense to protest the people who are actually doing what we want them to do," her son says.

12 school districts in the WBTV viewing area designated Wednesday an optional teacher workday. All will re-open to students Thursday morning.

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