Williston teachers prepare for rally in Raleigh

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Pender County is the latest school system in our area to announce it will close for students next Wednesday, the day when thousands of teachers from across North Carolina will rally in Raleigh.

WWAY spoke with some teachers in our area who are gearing up to call for change at our state capitol.

“We need the change,” Williston Middle School teacher Lisa Schnitzler said. “We cannot constantly talk about a profession that we supposedly regard very highly, yet do not treat them salary wise in that category.”

These three Williston Middle teachers plan to make their voices heard.

On Wednesday, they will join thousands of other educators in a fight for their rights.

After years of the same problems, they say it’s time some change finally happens.

“I think in my almost 30 years of teaching, this is the first time I’ve ever seen teachers get so pumped about something like this and it’s important that we’re respected as a profession and not just as paid baby sitters,” Williston Middle School teacher Gwen Fitzpatrick said.

They say this is for better conditions in schools for their students and students across the state.

These teachers also say North Carolina needs to catch up when it comes to technology in schools.

“Our students do have ipads and that’s a great thing, but there are some other areas of our technology that are really lacking and if we’re going to compete in a 21st century world, then we need to step it up with our technology,” Williston Middle School teach Leyna Varnum said.

Some argue that teachers are off for the summer and shouldn’t get higher pay, but these teachers say that’s a misunderstanding.

“I may have the summer off, but I don’t get paid in the summer, but there will be workshops that I’m expected to go to or meetings and we do that for free,” Fitzpatrick said. “We don’t get paid for that time that we spend at those meetings or workshops that we’re required to do.”

So now, they take their steps towards a new future for teachers and it starts in Raleigh.

The teachers also agreed more funding needs to go towards mental health resources at the schools.

They encourage anyone to come up and support teachers.

For more information about what New Hanover County Schools will do on May 16, click here.

For more information about what Brunswick County Schools will do on May 16, click here.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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