10/25/13 N.C. teachers’ group getting behind school ‘walk in’

N.C. teachers’ group getting behind school ‘walk in’
The Associated Press The Times-News 10/25/13  
Reprinted with permission.

   RALEIGH— North Carolina public educators unhappy with legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory set aside talk of a grassroots teacher walkout early next month, replacing it what they call a more positive job action.

   A handful of teachers who promoted a walkout Nov. 4 instead are now endorsing a “walk in” on that day to promote unity and collaboration on improving schools and working conditions. The North Carolina Association of Educators is also behind the event. They want teachers to wear red and walk in together that morning.

   The 70,000-member association, the state’s largest teacher lobbying group, had not endorsed the walkout. But president Rodney Ellis said he wasn’t surprised teachers considered such risky action in light of legislative and gubernatorial decisions to end teacher tenure rules, freeze pay and create a new taxpayer-funded program for some children to attend private schools.

   “When educators consider actions that could result in reprimands or terminations, the message is clear: teachers are fed up,” Ellis said. “All educators would agree that we are sickened by what has happened to our schools.”

   The walkout idea spread online and through social network sites over the past several weeks. Bambie Lockhart, a Wake County kindergarten teacher and one of the walkout’s original organizers, said it was never her intent for teachers actually not to show up for school.