PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — School districts across North Carolina are closing for Wednesday’s teacher rally in Raleigh, including New Hanover and Brunswick counties. However Pender County Schools will remain open, angering some teachers and parents.
“I actually went to school to be a teacher, and then when I found out how much they actually make here in North Carolina, I decided not to,” said parent Nicole Harvey.
Nearly a year after a teacher rally in Raleigh didn’t give educators the results they wanted, another is set to take place Wednesday. Thousands of teachers from across our state are expected to march in the capital city, rallying for higher pay and other benefits.
“Our teachers are having to march for better pay and more resources to do their job, which is to teach our children who are our future. They have the most important job, they literally make the world go round in my opinion,” said parent Samantha Worrell.
Pender County Schools have chosen to remain open during Wednesday’s rally, citing lost educational time due to Hurricane Florence. At least 80 Pender teachers submitted requests to be out of their classrooms on May 1. The school system says substitute teachers will be able to cover those absences, allowing schools to remain open.
“I’m actually going to keep my children home tomorrow, in solidarity with the teachers that should be able to go,” said Harvey.
Worrell started an event on Facebook, asking other parents to keep their kids home.
“That will send a strong message to our school system that if this rolls around next year, that we do not want them interfering. If the teachers want to call out or ask for a personal day off, they should be able to,” Worrell said.
Tuesday evening, Pender County Schools released the following statement defending their decision:
“The Pender County Board of Education’s discussion with district officials on April 25 centered on the 30 missed days of instructional time over the course of the school year due to the decimation of an unavoidable natural disaster. Following that discussion, it was decided that Pender County Schools would remain open on May 1.
District officials spent the following days working diligently to develop a plan that would support staff members who wanted to exercise their constitutional rights, while ensuring education would continue at all 18 district schools.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Pender County Schools has enough personnel in place to keep instruction going when school takes in Wednesday morning. Pender County Schools would like to say thank you to everyone’s commitment to making May 1 a success for staff and students.”
Worrell says she knows some people cannot keep their kids home because of work. She asks that those parents to send their kids to school wearing red, the same color teachers will be wearing in Raleigh.