FIRST ON 3: New Hanover Co. School District bans teachers from wearing ‘Red for Ed’ t-shirts

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Submitted: Thu, 11/14/2013 - 4:59am
Updated: Thu, 11/14/2013 - 2:12pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Teachers in New Hanover County and elsewhere have been protesting education cuts and teacher pay by wearing red T-shirts to show their support for education.

Now the New Hanover County School Board is the one seeing red and putting an end to it.  

The district says teachers can no longer wear their "Red for Ed" shirts.

"We can wear red, but we can't wear it if it says 'Red for Ed,' because that is a political statement," teacher Lucas McLawhorn said.

Two district policies that address staff participation in political activities and political activities on school property have been in place for years.

"There is no intent on the part of the board to quash a teacher's right or any employee right to express their concern and dissatisfaction," school board member Edward Higgins said. "It's just a matter of where and when."

The school board says that place is not the classroom.

Higgins says in some cases teachers have used the shirts as a platform to express their frustrations to students, but teachers say their message is anything but political.    

"We are losing good teachers, and once again a student who has a teacher that doesn't care, who is not invested, what are they going to learn?" McLawhorn said.
Higgins says the board has just as many questions about the legislature's education reforms as teachers do.

"We don't know where the idea came from. We don't know how it's supported, how it's justified," Higgins said.

State Rep. Ted Davis (R-19th District) says he is learning through forums, like one at UNCW last night, how the legislature's decisions affect local educators.

"It helps me be able to have a better understanding, so I can go to Raleigh and hopefully rectify some of those situation," Davis said.

The school district also asked principals to make sure the staff does not use the e-mail system, school websites or any other district form of communication to promote their message.


  • Carol Kramer says:

    It is unquestionably a political issue. If you don’t understand that politics is about money and power, you understand nothing.

  • Lauren says:

    While I was in school (graduated in 2011), the students were told they had no rights in school. If that’s the case, I doubt the teachers do either.

  • Missy says:

    I support the teachers getting a pay raise, as well as increasing spending for education here in NC.

    However, the classroom is not the place for the teachers to politic for the cause.

    I wouldn’t want the teachers of my children campaigning for those seeking political office. Imagine if a teacher wore a t shirt supporting a particular candidate for president??

    This is no different.

  • Mr.T says:

    I understand our public school systems are under the domination of the right wing. We were dumb enough to let it happen and we can see and feel the results. Devaluing the public schools and the teaching profession are long standing Republican goals. Nothing new here!!
    What I don’t understand is why are individual school administrators and system administrators accepting this position? If you believe in and are passionate about your profession then as an education administrator your job is to support not reject your employees. Teachers all across NC must feel very alone in their profession when the very people they work for will not go to Raleigh and demand value for the teaching profession.
    I am not a teacher, far from one, but I very much appreciate all the teachers in my life. I realize there is a lot of conflict about how teachers can reach their professional goals and also protect their students. The only way I see a valuable solution is to take the position that Raleigh can’t fire everybody. Strike and Strike QUICKLY!!

  • Sal says:

    Guest 45, your wrong and bitter against teachers for some unknown reason, not with the best intentions for our youth. Teachers thought getting board certification or masters pay would increase their salaries BECAUSE THEY WERE TOLD IT WOULD but now that is being threatened to be pulled from them. Point is good teachers that were promised periodic raises or board cert or masters pay are not going to get it and are forced to leave to pursue new careers. If you were told you would get certain raises in pay and that was stripped you’d wear red too

  • LelandNC says:

    I’m sure they’d love to have time after work and during summer breaks to handle “disgruntled, oppressed work crap” but unfortunately they are too busy working their SECOND JOB after work and during summer breaks!

  • ReadingComprehensionIsImportant says:

    Read this portion again:
    Higgins says the board has just as many questions about the legislature’s education reforms as teachers do.

    “We don’t know where the idea came from. We don’t know how it’s supported, how it’s justified,” Higgins said.

    His comment was in reference to the qualifying statement preceding it. Higgins is referring to the reforms by the legislature when he says he “doesn’t know where the idea came from”. It is not a reference to the “Red for Ed” movement.

    As for New Hanover being the only county with this edict. I am sure there are several systems with policies regarding politics with regard to teachers on the books. In fact, a couple of the systems I worked for had them. New Hanover just seems to be the only one enforcing it.

    As far as I am concerned, I applaud their decision. The classroom should be apolitical. Period. End of sentence. No matter which side to the political spectrum you are from, you should want no political influence taking place in the classroom. If you allow political influence to occur on one side, it has to occur on all. Frankly, I want children to be educated not indoctrinated.

    Trying to frame this issue as not being political is disingenuous. It is political, there is no way around that fact. Even though I agree that the teachers are being dumped on by the state government, I can’t get behind political activism in the classroom.

  • Anyone... says:

    I saw the piece on the news, and the video version seems to indicate Higgins was referring to the “Red for Ed” movement versus not knowing what motivated the state legislature to pass the measures it did that affected education.

    It didn’t really come across so well in the article above.

    While many school systems have rules about politics in the classrooms — which I do see as being fine — it doesn’t say you cannot discuss them at all. You just have to present both sides.

    Almost anything could be deemed political, but if you take time to read the “Red for Ed” website, you will see the teacher who came up with the idea did it because she wanted to support her chosen career. Since both parties are in favor of public education, it really isn’t partisan to show unity and support for each other during a difficult season in education.

    Now, if there are teachers who are disparaging the government to students, that is too far, but I’ve not heard of that. And if I were a kindergarten teacher, I’d go no further than to say, “I wear red because I love my job!” and then only if asked.

  • Really? says:

    I don’t want to teach about God. My point is I am not allowed to make that decision. Let me teach about Buddha. Or maybe Satan. How’s that for sky daddy propaganda? What movie did you plagarize with that comment? Let me know when you come up with an original idea. It will probably coincide with our next pay raise……..

  • KEVIN McNair says:

    Yes, I’m KEVIN McNair, the one who lambasted school teachers for dressing too casually.

    Well, let me expand my thoughts on school teachers’ appearance. Not only could they dress a little more formally and attractively, but while they’re at it, they could lose some weight.

    Sorry to state the blinding truth, but many of our county school teachers are obese. I see them waddling around when I drop my son off at a local elementary school.

    Stop whining about your low salaries, and shape up. When you merit a raise you will get one.

    As for now, you need to project a more professional image (less dowdy and more sharp . . . sharp as in professionally on your toes).

  • Sandra H Howerton says:

    Of course, teachers should be allowed to wear the shirts. Freedom of speech does not stop at the school house door, and this is clearly a free speech issue.

  • Former NC teacher says:

    As a former teacher in NC who has since moved back to the Midwest, I can most assuredly say through my 4 year experience that I would never teach in NC again. The fact remains that until you (the voters) decide that you have had enough Socialist, top-down, one-size-fits-all education being crammed down your throats from Raleigh nothing is going to change regardless of which party is in power. Let us not forget that it was under the Democrat domination that the wonderful idea of EOC’s came to fruition for 8 years in which teachers taught to the test in hopes of possibly qualifying their schools for AYP money that never happened. Additionally, after piling up 9 EOC’s and $3 BILLION in the hole, NCDPI had no choice but to cut EOC funding and then scrap the entire standardized testing program. The Republicans are now saddled with the bill and the blame. The glaring reality is that good, quality education costs money which comes from the personal property tax dollars, and you won’t achieve this until your voters in the local LEA’s decide to quit being stingy with their pocketbooks and vote for a tax increase to adequately fund your schools and teachers’ salaries to be commensurate with the national average. The voters need to propose an initiative to take back the control of education to the local level at the school boards. I will eventually make my way back to the beach to vacation and retire, but I will finish out my teaching career in a state who’s retirement system is only 1 of 3 that are solvent and well into the black and allow school districts and teachers autonomy to actually do their jobs and educate the students. Good luck and I hope and pray that you, the voters, speak up and do what’s right for future generations and actually fix your broken system.

  • UnionRep says:

    Union time!

  • Carol Kramer says:

    The teacher’s workplace is in front of our children. This workplace has rules about striking (walk outs) and policies that strictly prohibit political activities (Saffo tee shirts). Since walk outs could result in getting fired, many teachers opted for a “walk in.” The walk in, wearing red in the schools for all the children to see, was actually a way of bringing a passive strike for more money right into the classrooms. Kind of a “hey kids, they don’t pay me enough to do this!” How nice. I am very, very disturbed by it. The children don’t deserve to be used as pawns in their teachers’ effort to get a raise. I have nothing but terrific things to say about EVERY ONE of my child’s teachers. They have my support. However, I do not want them “striking” at school for higher pay. Now, if someone wants to produce some buttons that say “I make LESS than Stephanie” buttons for the majority of New Hanover County residents to wear off campus, well, I’d be all for it.

  • guest123 says:

    Im sorry a teacher does not want to wear heels and a skirt or dress pants while they care for over 70 students in a day, they are there to teach students not dress to impress. Have you ever been in a classroom??? They get dirty and children ( like your little angel ) destroys items that belongs to the teacher. I think you take the cake for most stupid today. My other half is a teacher, he wears khakis and a polo. There would never be a reason for him to waist his money to buy a suit.

  • 10101 says:

    I’m a business professional. I wear “business” clothes (AKA a costume). My clients expect me to. When I’m not working, I wear a pair of shorts and a T-shirt most of the time. Teachers have clients too. They’re called “parents”.

    It’s not a free speech issue; it’s a “dress professionally” issue. If it was just a free speech issue, teachers should be able to wear a loin cloth to work.

    The whole concept of free speech gets so overused by people like yourself that it becomes a moot point.

  • Historian says:

    I wish would could strike, however we could go to jail and lose our jobs for it. I would like to see NCAE challenge the right to work law, sue for collective bargaining rights, and then organize a statewide strike. Only then will our voices truly be heard!

  • Salvatore Governale says:

    Kevin, your response is unrelated to the topic. Good for you, you’re in shape. Perhaps teachers are overweight because they are underpaid. Lower income people have a higher obesity rate.

  • Roy Hill says:

    Tell you what, when they get paid much, much more than they are getting paid right now THEN you can expect them to dress better. When a teacher is making 23k to 35k a year (like most teachers I know), I do not expect them to dress in $1000 suits. Khakis and a polo shirt seem perfectly fine to me. When the state is showing everyone that they do not care about teachers or students, it makes me glad I do not have any kids in this state’s education system.

  • Concerned says:

    This explains it very well.

    Both parties believe the public schools should exist, so it is not partisan to communicate support for them.

  • Southern Child says:

    Tinker v Des Moines, if my memory serves me correctly. “Students do not abandon their free speech rights at the schoolhouse door.” And by extension teachers, I would think. Do I smell lawsuit??

  • Education is power says:

    would any sane individual want to get involved in the NC educational system after reading some of the idiotic, ignorant comments that have been posted here? I’m fortunate to work around teachers on a daily basis and I feel deep emapthy for the vast majority of them because of how they are being portrayed and bashed by a lot of uninformed individuals. You want to gripe because they want to wear these “Red for Ed” shirts inside the classroom. So what? I remember being in high school and I can’t understand how my teacher wearing a t-shirt like that would have jeopardized my ability to get an education.

    When did teachers become the enemy in this state? No one gets anywhere in life without teachers, period. You want to vilify them further by claiming that most are obese, talk about your ignorant statements. The teachers I encounter on a daily basis are dressed professionally with the exception of “casual fridays” when they can wear jeans and a t-shirt if they choose to, most of the time the t-shirt has to be a school related one as well. What’s wrong with that?

    I happen to be currently dating a teacher and I’m proud of that fact. It’s been eye opening to say the least. It’s one thing to work with teachers in the capacity that I do but it’s entirely different to actually see first hand the behind the scenes work that goes on to do the job of actually teaching (which I might add is hard for most of them to do because of all the “Common Core” and other bs that the legislature and government shove in their laps because they think they know how best to educate kids). News flash for all you idiots in Raleigh. Teaching is not “one size fits all” and if you spent any time in any classroom you would see that for yourselves after just a few minutes. But, you would all rather pull this crap out of your butts in Raleigh without thinking about how it actually impacts the classroom and the ones trying to implement your idiotic ideas for “improving testing”. Larger class sizes, that’s a good one, it makes it much easier for the teacher to give those students that might need extra help the proper attention since he/she doesn’t have to worry about the other 25+ students since they are on task and not having any issues of their own, you know, because they all learn the same way and at the same rate. At least according to your “logic” they do.

    The hardest thing I’ve had to do since I’ve been dating this teacher is learn that down time is few and far between for her. Since all the teacher work days were taken away (which weren’t enough to help them get caught up to begin with) she spends quite a bit of time each night trying to get caught up on the never ending list of things she has to get done including lesson plans, grading assignments and countless other things that I can’t keep track of. I started to keep track of the extra time that I’ve seen her put in each week including weekends just to see out of curiousity how much her hourly rate of pay would be when all that time was factored in. I stopped after September because it was simply to depressing.

    I said above that the hardest thing I had to do was get used to the fact that we wouldn’t have much time together because of all she had to do, that was incorrect, that would be the 2nd hardest thing I’ve had to do. The hardest thing I’ve had to do is watch her cry out of frustration and desperation because of the never ending barrage of things that she has to do other than actually teach. She truly loves what she does and she cares deeply about the kids that she teaches. I was with her the week before school started when she was out buying school supplies for her classroom with her own money because she said she knew most of her kids wouldn’t have things that they would need for class. I even pitched in that day to help her buy a few things. She gives up her lunch hour most days to help kids who come to her because she knows they need it and she won’t turn them away. She does after school tutoring for those that need it as well because she truly cares and knows that quite a few need so much extra help.

    It angers me to see her get frustrated and disheartened to the point of tears because she feels so overwhelmed by the things they keep piling on for her to do or keep track of since it’s all about “the numbers”.

    On the bright side I know she is currently looking for another job and I will be very happy when she is able to find one that doesn’t involve being a part of NC’s public schools. I feel sad for the students that will lose out on a truly excellent teacher but I’ll be happy for her because she won’t have to bust her @ss for very little pay, virtually no respect and she won’t have to put up with the seemingly endless bashing of teachers by a bunch of clueless, ignorant individuals who will spout their idiotic statements on here but don’t have the 1st damned clue how things actually are in our schools.

  • Tteacher says:

    Wearing a Red for Ed shirt isn’t about teacher salaries, solely: it’s about supporting public education. NC is 46th in per pupil spending and has cut teacher assistants and early childhood education. Wear Red for Ed days are an opportunity to show support of public schools- including students.

    I hope every student in New Hanover County wears a Red for Ed shirt every day for the rest of the year.

  • Lori says:

    Well, many studies show that poverty and obesity go hand in hand. Many teachers can barely afford to feed their families and work extra jobs on top of the extra hours pot in at school. There is no time or money for gym memberships, fresh market trips, or fancy meals. Many of us have to turn to the dollar menus, boxed mac n cheese, and other fast, inexpensive foods. Living on less than 40k for a family of 3 as a single parent and a teacher isn’t the easiest. And many make less than that. Just remember that you don’t have to walk in these people’s shoes before you lambast then with such puerile insults. I hope you don’t pass your imbecilic views onto your children.

  • Lori says:

    Please tell her she’s not alone. 11 year veteran here who feels the same and there are so many more of us out there nationwide. We can only hope things will improve, and we try to stick it out for the kids. But at what cost?

  • knowwhatyouretalkingabout says:

    MANY of the schools in our area allow for “casual” Fridays in which teachers are allowed to wear jeans and a shirt of their choice (usually a school t-shirt). Also, teachers’ clients are NOT the parents, they are the students! I fail to see how wearing a shirt that is in SUPPORT of public education (which is their job) is not “dressing professionally”. This is not a political movement, this is just simply showing support for our teachers and for our students, period. This is all getting beyond ridiculous! So glad I have chosen to get out of this profession!

  • HLD says:

    You should check out the Red4Ed website. They discuss whether or not wearing the t-shirt/wearing red on Wednesdays is political. They do a good job of covering both sides. What is most disheartening is the comment about how teachers would be out the door if it weren’t for the money. Well, of course, they would. Nobody is going to work for free. Everybody has to survive. Teachers do only work 10 months out of the year in their classroom, but that doesn’t mean they only work 10 months out of the year. It’s a shame the Walk-In wasn’t better attended. Most people would not be able to keep up the pace of what a good teacher does all day.

  • Sandra H Howerton says:

    It is a sad day when support for public education is considered a political issue. This shows how much right-wing extremism has debased political discourse in this state and country.

  • Kevin,
    I am a teacher. I love my job and do an excellet job. What on earth does my weight have to do with wearing red or educating children? I have never read anything so ignorant my life. How on earth do you trust your child in the hands of such slobs? You are a bully.

  • Kim Lucas says:

    If you had done your research, then you would know that Teachers do have a dress code to uphold. For further information, check out the New Hanover County School website.

  • Darren Segool says:

    You miss the point. If you aren’t an underpaid teacher like the rest of us, you don’t and won’t get it. We have no outlet for our dissatisfaction of our profession. You do. I wear a shirt and a tie everyday to school because I have pride in what I do, even if people like you don’t think so. Teachers can not strike, we can not ask for a raise, and most of us use our “time off” at another job. So yeah, if wearing red is the only way we have to support our cause, then I support those who wear red. And you should too.

  • Christen says:

    First, let me say that the fact it is t-shirt is irrelevant. If it had been a blouse or button down with the same embroidered message, the issue would still be the same. It’s the message that people are unable to accept. But why?! Honestly, is supporting public education really something that should be kept out of our public schools? That doesn’t make a lick of sense. This is a peaceful protest and EVERY American has the freedom of speech, in and out of the workplace. The Constitution is still around for a reason; when the higher ups start picking apart our rights, it’s time to stand up together. These shirts present no political agenda except for furthering and bettering education reform, which is in EVERY American’s best interest.

  • Tim says:

    I never read something that made someone sound more stupid than what Kevin McNair wrote. You my man are an IDIOT.

  • Sharon Smith says:

    I would love to see you! How dare you…what are you doing? Literally, sizing up your child’s teacher from your vehicle. You sound like a moronic individual. I hope that every single individual that struggles with weight in your children’s, your wife’s, and your personal and professional life confronts you regarding your asinine comment. Your pathetic, ugly inner self truly must outshine whatever you look like physically! This was uncalled for and off topic!

  • tom white says:

    Maybe after the administration chooses the top 25 per cent of the teachers in the county, only the bottom 75% will wear red!

    Teachers being fat? How does that stop someone from doing their job? Maybe Chris Christie is a bad governor because he is fat…nawww, its because he is a Republican.
    I would rather surround myself with fat people rather than someone like the person who made that comment, which is UNPROFESSIONAL. Of course you would never pass judgement on another person because that wouldn’t be Christian like would it? Perhaps teachers should only teach to skinny kids and not the fat ones, would that satisfy you? Who are you to judge others? What a pathetic uneducated fool you are. I am sorry your children have such a loser for a parent. YOU are the problem….not the teachers.

  • Pam says:

    I am a teacher and I DO NOT WORK FOR YOU! How dare you presume such a thing! So, there is my free speech statement.

  • Pam says:

    Mr. McNair, it also looks like teachers will need to teach your child manners since he won’t be getting that from his father.

  • Eric Allgrim says:

    Typical comment from a presumably under or uneducated person that gives people in the South a bad reputation. You can’t prejudge people based on gender, race, and nationality anymore, so lets pick on the people who are overweight. Perhaps if teachers didn’t have to eat like a poor college student we’d all be nice and fit for you. But then you’d have to find someone else to show your bigotry towards. People who wear eyeglasses? Folks with bad breath? Seriously, whats next?

  • jennifer marshall says:

    Thank you for your comments. I am sorry that this state has all but abandonded its teachers and your loved one is walking away. I wish her well but please don’t stop telling your story. People need a face to go with the horrible things that have happened because of the NCGA.

  • Tired says:

    Seriously? You think they are just doing it to get more money?!? For themselves?!? If teachers were in it for the money they wouldn’t be in it at all. They are doing it for YOUR children! THEY are the ones ultimately effected by the complete disregard for education in this state. If you have ever met a teacher you would know they are pretty selfless.

  • Sad says:

    I feel bad for your kid.

  • Sal says:

    The New Hanover County School Board “forbidding” red shirts with a loosely associated slogan is another sign they are out of touch with their employees and why the union they think won’t happen is so actively forming without their knowledge…lack of insight. For those criticizing, get a job or a life. How could anyone question giving more to those that see and lead our kids more hours a day than most of us see our own kids? Wouldn’t a happy, motivated, appreciated teacher be better than an underpaid, disillusioned person than people on this thread are calling fat and lazy? Seriously people? Stop stroking your ego and pretending you are on a news channels debate panel while on your couch throwing darts from afar and realize good teachers are leaving because promises like board certification incentives and masters pay, which make better teachers will be gone.

  • guest45 says:

    government workers, teachers and leo’s, knew it going into the job, they may earn a little less, but they have a secure paycheck with benefits and early retirements, if 1 of them tells me they will do a better job with a couple dollar raise then they are admitting they are not doing the job they signed on for and should be fired immediately, they get no sympathy from me, and bringing the kids into it is tacky at best!

  • Timothy McQuade says:

    Kevin, Have you ever considered volunteering at a dunk tank? Yeah, we can kick you in the ass and you can fall in. You must be a H.S. dropout, who lives at home with mom. Grow up and shut up.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Teachers should behave professionally, dress appropriately and teach the three Rs. Leave the disgruntled, oppressed worked crap for after hours or during their summer breaks.

  • Really? says:

    You can’t wear red. You can’t control the thermostat in your room. You can’t get a pay raise. You can’t discipline a child. You can’t teach about God. You can’t grade in red. You can’t go the restroom and leave your class unattended. You can’t get a 30 minute lunch.

    What can we do? Nothing. The legislators have control of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Campbell says:

    Red for Ed is not all about teacher salaries, it is about what is right for our children in the state of NC , the dollar amount the government spends per pupil for every public school student, the desire for teachers to get higher education degrees so they can grow and help students achieve the demands of the 21st century workforce. The need for smaller class sizes so students can have a more idividualized education and attention when needed. Teachers are not only fighting for their rights they are fighting for every student who enters a public institution.

  • Liberaytor says:

    Union Time – Ditto

  • Anyonecanresearch says:

    Higgins says he doesn’t know where the “Red for Ed” idea came from, yet a quick search shows the origins:

    The writer clearly indicates that the idea is non-partisan and is used to promote public education.

    Are there individual teachers who may take it too far? Probably. I haven’t heard of any (yes, I’m a teacher), though. However, that would be an issue for a principal to handle on a case-by-case basis.

    There are 100 counties in NC. So far, New Hanover is the only one with this edict.

  • auntc says:

    Thank you for being passionate and keeping it real without going off the deep end. Teaching in NC seems to be seriously undervalued in this state right now- at least by those who make the laws and have the power to truly show appreciation.

  • Vog46 says:

    Let me get this straight.
    Teachers can’t wear red t- shirts and get paid a paltry salary.
    If you’re a secretary and take your clothes completely OFF for your boss you can make $75K a year and be promoted without being muzzled?

    Yeah that sounds like our school system for yah……


  • A Teacher says:

    It is hard to dress as a business professional when we are not paid or treated as business professionals. I spend my days moving tables, laptop carts, plugging in computers under tables, wiping down tables, moving chairs, hauling boxes, fixing copiers ect and I am a classroom teacher, not a custodian. My weight has nothing to do with with my professionalism. If I work for PPD would my body shape be a problem?

  • Anna says:

    You know its sad when 5 teachers from the same school work part-time in the same department store, AFTER school. PITIFUL!! I am so sorry to say this, but I would highly discourage ALL college students NOT to ever entertain the idea of becoming a teacher! As a matter of fact, I refused to pay for my daughter’s college education if she planned to pursue a teaching degree…fortunately, she was wise and chose the health care profession.

  • NEPender says:

    Obviously freedom of speech does stop at the schoolhouse, as students at most public schools nowdays are very limited in what they can wear to school. Only certain colors, no logos etc. So if the schools systems want dress codes for the students, what’s “good for the goose is good for the gander”.

    I agree the teachers need to band together and be heard, but at the same time they same rules they enforce on students should apply to them..

  • Teacher, Dressed to Educate says:

    Well dumpling if you are so overwhelmed by the fat, tired, poorly dressed educators who work at your child/ children’s school then the only advice I can give you, as a well dressed, if slightly tired yet still snuggly in the middle of my height/weight chart and recommended BMI New Hanover County Educator is that you should really homeschool. I mean it is clear that level of education, success rates, content knowledge and effectiveness do not matter to you because, well, they just look so “casual, sloppy and obese”. This leaves you with only one real option and that is to make sure your child is educated by someone who looks fit and profession– like yourself– even if you do not know what you are doing. I mean you can at least teach you child to be as much of a narrow minded bigot as you are and that everyone should be judge by their esthetics, because really that is what matters. And I am sure you will think you look good doing it.
    I am very good at my job and I follow the New Hanover County dress code (which you would know existed if you, you know, checked their website before spreading your bigotry all of the internet) however, I will admit, I dress in low cost brands that I know are durable because at a massive salary of $35,000/ yr paying my mortgage and feeding my family is more important to me that new clothes. I hope you are happy with your own reflection and I can only pray that your poor child. children never get fat because then what would you say to them?

  • Someone who cares says:

    I’m glad that you are able to spell correctly and write a cohesive thought. You can thank a teacher for that.

    Their health is really NONE of your concern. Their lifestyle outside of the classroom is NONE of your concern. I invite you to step into a classroom for a day and do the job that these teachers do every single day without getting the pay that is deserved. The raises are merited and they have been for years. You, like many in Washington and Raleigh, are ignorant to the needs and concerns in education today. You, like many in Washington and Raleigh, are eager to pass judgment when you really have NO idea what a day in the school entails.

    God bless you, you really need it.

  • Guest2020 says:

    It is not uncommon for the faculty and staff of a school to have a dress code that is more strict than the students’ dress code. Regardless, if the rules prohibit it for the faculty and staff then they should not be allowed to wear them.

  • Guest2020 says:

    If it is against the rules, then they should not be allowed to wear the shirts. If they don’t like the rules, they can lobby in a professional way to change the rules, or they can seek employment elsewhere.

  • Guest2020 says:

    The teachers’ unions are the largest factor in the poor education our children are receiving.

  • rhetorical says:

    The ban is not for professional reasons, but to limit what the district sees as political speech. This is a pure first amendment issue.

  • Xian Barrett says:

    I would assume that as a business person, you don’t work for the government so the 1st amendment wouldn’t apply.

  • Michele says:

    I feel incredibly sorry for you that you feel comfortable to say such a thing in a public forum. I can’t even say anything else to you.

    To the rest of the forum: I have been teaching art for 15 years. I have to work a second job to support my family. I worked my way through college and grad school while raising a small child. In my career, I have been chosen to be the NC Technology Teacher of the Year, my school system’s semi-finalist for Teacher of the Year, earned National Boards and have received many awards for my teaching. (Some of these I received when I was fat and unattractive- irrelevant, but true.) I work incredibly hard every day to make a difference for my students. I have watched the standard of living go up and have my pay stay stagnant.I have watched students, with major disabilities, struggle to bubble in answers to silly questions on a test which barely make sense to me, questions which are made to trick the student, rather than test their knowledge of content. I have watched core teachers lose their ability to teach content creatively and be forced to teach in a dry, test driven style that is driving the curiosity and love of learning from our students. If the state of North Carolina takes away my masters and National Boards pay, then I, too, will be leaving North Carolina to work in another state, because I will not be able to support my family.

    I never imagined that the state of public education in North Carolina would ever come to this low point. And I am shocked at the bitter hate people show towards me because I teach. And still I teach because I KNOW i make a difference in so many children’s lives. I teach now, while I can afford to.

    Teachers who wear red want to support education in ALL areas- like buying textbooks to support a completely new curriculum, like having teachers’ assistants in classes, so that students have enough adults in the classroom who can help them learn, like putting a cap on class sizes so that time is spent TEACHING instead of handing the discipline problems which arise and multiply with every extra child placed in a classroom, and yes, by paying teachers what they are worth before we all leave the profession or the state.

    WEAR RED: teachers, students and parents, wear red.
    And go to the local and state rallies and let yourself be counted among those who support a strong PUBLIC education in North Carolina.

  • Sandra H Howerton says:

    It is not a matter of what is professional dress for teachers. The school board did not say they could not wear tee-shirts, which can be somewhat dressy and which some professionals of other types as well as teachers wear because of what they do in their professions or just because they are considered stylish. It is a matter of freedom of speech because the school board specified that they could not wear the shirts because, according to the board, wearing them constitutes a political activity because they advocate (i.e., speak) for supporting public education. You wear what is appropriate for your profession. However, you probably do not have to participate in doing art projects, playground activities, or many of the other activities many teachers are involved in every day.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    have a union, chowderhead. That organization gave Smiley over $2 million for her last campaign. A significant court case ruled they could not force teachers to allow automatic deduction of dues from their paychecks.

    How could you miss all of that?

  • tiffisastarr says:

    You missed the entire point. Teachers dress professionally every day however there are certain dress down days where t-shirts are acceptable. I know. I am a teacher. You are stuck on dress. The whole article skirted around the issues in education going on now and not teacher dress.

  • ash says:

    if you want to “teach about god” in a public school classroom, you should not be teaching. keep your sky-daddy propaganda at home.

  • sharon says:

    North Carolina just continues to give the late night talk show hosts and Stephen Colbert more things to discuss…..and ridicule about this state.

  • childless taxpayer says:

    This response to this news items is great! Please take it a step further by emailing the members of the school board—it’s important for them to hear from all concerned members of our community. let’s hope that our support for our teaches lifts their spirits: knowing they are supported by the citizens of our community is important!

  • Payuswhatweareworth says:

    Just imagine if something isn’t done soon with how teachers are compensated and treated what the future of the education system in this state is going to be like for our children’s children. I am going to recommend they move.

  • trash says:

    If you don’t like policies, then quit. Nobody is holdibg a gun to your head to stay. Plus, you chose to teach. Find another job. You knew what you were getting into.

  • a master in education says:

    Wow, “trash,” thank you SO MUCH for simplifying that whole issue for me! See, I’ve been operating under the delusion that my master’s in education makes me most qualified to teach, which is what I do. But gosh, you’ve opened my eyes to the simple fact that I can quit and do something else. You know what? I stayed at a Holiday Inn once; maybe I will be a doctor instead. I’m sure surgery is as “easy” as teaching, right? Or, in this booming economy, I can find another job in a dozen industries in a heartbeat. I mean, really…why should we stupid teachers think that the policies and laws that were in place when we were hired (almost 20 years ago) would hold up to the onslaught of the GOP war on public education? I feel so silly now. P.S. (Since you’re obviously not very bright) the above is sarcasm.

  • Historian says:

    Once upon a time we had what was called academic freedom. This meant we could teach with the content and style we desired as long as it met with the standard course of study.

    Suddenly, that academic freedom is slowly being eroded away and we’re being told what to teach and how to teach it. This is quite unsettling. You see, it has happened a few times within the last 100 years. Most notably, Russia in 1917, Germany in 1932 and China 1949.

    Would you rather those of us who are protesting not and just do as we are directed, like those teachers were forced to in those circumstances? If so, then you really do not support the Constitution of the United States.

  • public education says:

    knew what they were getting into? no one knew that salaries would freeze when they began teaching. clearly, teachers aren’t in it for the money, but many have been forced to quit & find a job that can support their children.

  • tommy421 says:

    You just gotta love a person who hates public schools or the thought of a teacher standing up for themselves making a comment such as yours. You are the reason why North Carolina consistently ranks at the bottom when it comes to Public Education. Keep is Southern and keep it slow, right?

  • KEVIN McNair says:

    The county should require a dress code for teachers. T-shirts are not appropriate attire.

    When I drop my son off at school, I am often appalled at the way some of the teachers are dressing, especially the women.

    I think more formal clothing would set a higher tone for serious study. When teachers stand in front of a class wearing casual, sloppy clothes, their appearance diminishes their credibility; A careless, casual appearance sends a negative message.

    County teachers need to improve their appearance by dressing appropriately and behaving in a dignified manner.

  • miles says:

    i think you may need to re-read the article. teachers do not usually wear t-shirts (except for pep-rallies, spirit days, etc.), but were wearing them to support a specific cause. namely, that they are horrifically underpaid given the cost of living in wilmington.

  • Lynn Shoemaker says:

    Wow, that was a very subjective blanket statement. I am not a fan of changing any policy for ALL when it is only a few who need help with how they dress. An administrator can handle that one-on-one in his/her office. Furthermore, perhaps if teachers were paid as professionals then they could afford to dress like professionals. As it is, speaking from personal experience, they’re lucky to net minimum wage after dividing the number of hours they work into their little checks.

  • guest45 says:

    very well said

  • Rachel says:

    Really? Could you please provide us with wardrobe money. If I was making the money that Dr. Markley’s secretary is making, I’d run to the mall.

  • LelandNC says:

    Maybe the teachers could dress better if they were paid a decent wage. If you are worried about the standard of your child’s education, start with fairly compensating the educators.

  • 10101 says:

    If you want to be perceived and respected as a professional, dress like one.

  • teacher teacher says:

    I have been teaching 21 years and I am appalled that this is your issue in education! Shouldn’t you be more concerned with what the kids are learning than what the teacher is wearing?? If you ask a middle school student what their teacher was wearing today, bet they couldn’t tell you. You asked them what their teacher taught them and they can share that. Leave the clothing alone! That is not the important issue. It is the lack of respect we get from people like you, the school board and the state. You need to be thankful that your child has a teacher in the classroom because I see a shortage of teachers in the state of NC in the very near future!! The cost of living continues to rise but our paycheck doesn’t.

  • Doug Towle says:

    Kevin: Quit being ignorant. Walk the talk then brother. Donate your time, and even your money to help with your children (s) teacher’s wardrobes. I’m sure they’d appreciate your financial support, seeing how you’ve become the expert on health and fashion advice. If you don’t put up, shut up.

  • Teacher says:

    First and foremost, I love my job!!! However, I worry about providing for my own children due to the low salary. I spend every weeknight and weekend grading, planning and coming up with teaching material. I spend majority of my free time working. If I don’t, my students suffer and my effectiveness as a teacher suffers. I spend summers working on developing new material for the upcoming year and pick up other jobs to make ends meet. I don’t live above my means. Every hour I work when I leave the workplace is one more hour that my own kids don’t get to spend with me. Every single coworker I know works another job! What if your 9-5 told you to do work for your company and not get paid for it, would you be happy? NO! So why should teachers be different? It is really saddening to see the demise of a profession I adore. Shaping lives and giving students a gateway to their hopes and dreams is so rewarding but I can’t reach my own dreams of homeownership in a profession I love. If you worked in the profession for 1 week and dealt with the issues that we face daily you would change your tune. Disrespectful students, different learning styles, unprepared students, students who have problems outside of school, all of these things I deal with daily. I help my students not in the just subject I teach but in their lives. Do you have a favorite teacher you remember to this day, it’s because she was more than just a teacher. He or She touched your life

  • ron says:

    my hair stylist has to buy all her stuff for her profession. So yes there are jobs you have to buy your own supplies.

  • guest123 says:

    My other half is a teacher. Yea they work from 6am ( thats what time they go in for planning ) and get off at 3:15 pm. But then they work afterschool programs, games and stay after with students. They come home and grade papers, grade tests and call parents who could care less about their childrens grades. Then lets top that off my other half has a second job. Durring the school year they work the weekend searving food for tips and the summer they do that full time. Sooooooooooooooo happy teachers make all this great money to educate your children, deal with the school system and horrible parents.

  • Sandra H Howerton says:

    As a retired public school and community college teacher, I can attest to the fact that “Are you serious” is 100% correct. Teachers work long hours, and much of the work is both physically and mentally exhausting and stressful. Many also spend a great deal of their own meager salaries on classroom supplies that the school systems fail to provide because education spending is so low. I will add that, because of low salaries, many teachers also have to work second jobs, which, of course, makes it more difficult for them to be effective in the classroom because they are so tired. I used to be tired just from staying up late grading papers and preparing for classes. I hate to think of how tired I would have been if I had not had a husband who also worked so that we could get by without my taking a second job. Of course, teaching is also rewarding in non-monetary ways; but so are most professions; yet no one expects a lawyer, doctor, accountant, or most other professionals to do the job just for the non-monetary rewards. Anyone who thinks teachers are adequately paid just has no idea of what most of them do.

  • Chris says:

    Does she have 160 clients a day like middle school science teachers? Please, get educated.

  • Joan George says:

    Lady, you haven’t a clue. I am 78, have been volunteering for 15 years, in the beginning 3 days a week, now 4 days, 7 hours a day. You buy your own stuff, that stuff is for you to use on customers. Their STUFF is for children not themselves. You need to buy your STUFF for your job, they spend their own money when parents can’t or won’t buy certain items for school.
    These are dedicated men and women and because they are dedicated they are taken advantage of, it is a disgrace!!!!
    The love they have and the concern they have for children is unbelievable.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Lots of people work long, ungodly hours. And who doesn’t think they are under paid. If its so hard for teachers they can pick a different profession. Stop whining and deal with the realities. If you want more pay make different decisions.

    All I am saying is your beef should be directed at Markley’s administration and his poor management.

  • Taraji says:

    Yes, most hairdresser do, as do many other professions, but your hairdresser also gets to set her own prices, schedule appointments when she wants to, and makes more off of one haircut than I make in a day if she is worth her salt. I am not sure what is more sad, the fact that you are defending this with a weak argument or that you equate the luxuriousness of your hair with the education of our future. I mean, those are like totally just as important right?

  • Seth says:

    Your hair stylist? My wife is a hair stylist too, and that’s a whole different planet than teaching! She makes her own schedule, and pulls in a VERY nice chunk of dough- I’ve envied her job so much it’s become an issue with us (I’m a network tech for a corporation)- Sure she has me pick her supplies up when she runs low, but there’s plenty of “leftover” monies to cover expenses when a color job runs 120$ and she does 3 of those a day!

  • nuhusker says:

    Can demonstrating for a living wage be considered as a political statement? What happened to all of our freedoms? While a t-shirt isn’t exactly following a dress code, they aren’t being compensated to fulfil a dresscode. As for dressing appropriately, have you seen what kids are wearing? Talking about inappopriate, pants half you down ones butt cheeks, or shorts or skirts half way up ones butt cheeks, JUST SAYN!!

  • Guest2020 says:

    I don’t know what the dress code is in New Hanover County, but in Brunswick County the kids are not allowed to wear baggy pants. It is not unusual for the students to have a dress code that isn’t as strict as the dress code for the faculty and staff.

    If the schools enforce the established dress code for students, then they should enforce the dress code for the teachers. If they don’t like the rules, then they can seek employment elsewhere. And by your reasoning, McDonalds shouldn’t enforce a dress code. After all, those employees are certainly paid less than the teachers who aren’t being compensated to fulfil a dresscode”.

    Also, teachers make more money than the average salary in North Carolong.

  • Millie Dawson says:

    I moved here three years ago and am appalled at the lack of support given our public school teachers by the School Board and by many members of the community. My goodness, what in the world harm is there in wearing a teeshirt? This is America, land of the free, and all that. Let me get this straight, a teacher is not supposed to show his/her support for public education, their very own occupation? This is not a political issue, this is a human one. Stop undermining our teachers, they have your children, your grandchildren, in their care more hours than parents do. Support them, encourage them, and pay them more money (aren’t you ashamed to live where teachers are among the lowest paid in the country?) Remember, you get what you pay for. You want quality education, well pay your teachers more! Not every one can afford to send their children to private schools. And next election, VOTE for people on the Board who will actually support the teachers and not just the bureaucracy. Thank you.

  • Guest2020 says:

    My child spends eight hours at school. That leaves sixteen hours plus the forty-eight hours on the weekend. That makes 40 hours per week at school and 128 hours at home. Where did you learn math?

    If an employer establishes a dress code, then the employees are obligated to follow that code. If they don’t like the rule, they can seek other employment or lobby for change in a professional manner.

  • Victoria Rouch says:

    The teachers did it wrong. They should have announced they were carrying red guns in protest. That would have been OK, because these gun-loving right wingers love the guns almost as they love only one amendment of the Constitution.

    And people wonder why we’re a national laughingstock…

  • 1492 says:

    This is the kind of propagandist crap that turns people off. Minimum wage? If that were really the case, there would be an awful lot of teachers working in minimum wage places, and they’re not.

    If you’re going to say something, at least be honest about what you’re saying.

  • anon9999 says:

    First of all: many teachers don’t teach for the money, but teach for the reward that they get from teaching. They teacher because they care about students and because they care about the future of our country. However, just because they’re doing this because they love it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be paid for the priceless work they do!

    Second of all: I think the commenter above is referring to the fact that many teachers work long, unpaid hours after school to grade papers, have one-on-one time with students, attend/organize/take part in school events, and just to do a good job. Once you divide all those hours of long, thankless work up, they’re definitely not making minimum wage.

  • William Eubanks says:

    I call B/S on the statement teachers don’t teach for money. They may enjoy the reward of teaching others, but you take the money out of the equation and they all would be out of the door!

  • Guest2020 says:

    Teachers in NC make more than the average salary for our state. Teachers are not the only people who work overtime. Teachers are not the only people who take continuing education classes on their own time. Teachers are not the only ones who face changes and challenges. They should really count their blessings that they have a job while some out here in the real world wonder what they are going to do to survive once the paltry unemployment payments quit coming.

  • nuhusker says:

    You must not know very many teachers, because many I know, even with master’s degree, work a 2nd job or a part time job to make ends meet. Many also take classes to stay certified or gain needed experience to stay on top of the changes and challenges that they all face, or to move into counseling or administration.

  • Chris says:

    Take the money from your trash pick up men and see how fast your house starts to stink.

  • Doug says:

    Of course William Eubank… there are not a lot of folks out there whom can work without pay. I imagine you get reimbursed for something you do. I would imagine Teachers/ Educators would like to pay their mortgages, car payments, taxes, etc. They might even want to have their children play soccer or enjoy an extracurricular activity or two. Heck, they even may want to go out for dinner with their family once a month. Imagine that William Eubank, they would like to be compensated for their time.

  • Doug Shaw says:

    Kevin…what an ignorant statement! Maybe with all the work, grading, assessments that teachers have to accomplish daily, they find less time for themselves to exercise. Maybe they might have health issues, thyroid, etc. I feel sorry for your child being raised by such an insensitive, cocky whaco!!! Grow up!!!
    Please post pic!!!! Let’s see what you got!!!

  • Taraji says:

    So you fulfill your job duties for free and live off of God’s good humor then? I doubt it.
    Yes, most teachers do go into the profession for the love of teaching but it is still the way in which we earn our livelihood and as that, we need to pay bills and mortgages and student loans and, you know, eat. With the state limiting pay and the fact that we have not had a cost of living raise in 5 years we are frozen– look at that through the eyes of inflation, and NC teachers are down nearly 17% in our pay from what we were making 6 years ago. The cost of living, food, gas, childcare and yes, even clothes, have gone up while our pay has gone down– and I mean that literally as the state has taken 1% of our pay three times out of the last five years to balance budget shortages.
    So yes, as you say, take pay out of it and a lot of us are out the door. The question that the citizens of NC and New Hanover County need to be asking is once all of the teachers with experience, master’s degrees and results are gone and all of the new college graduates want to get as far from NC as possible because of the working conditions– where does that leave our kids?
    That is what no one is looking at while they are playing cover up for affairs and 150% pay increase for high school educated secretaries and listening to lobbyist about how to privatize education through Common Core– what about our kids? Every teacher in building shows up everyday to serve our kids, we teach them to the best of our ability with no books or supplies and do it because it is our job.
    The fact that the BOE wants to pull focus from that and their own poor choices by attacking teachers for defending not just our right to better pay, but also our right to perform our jobs to the best of our ability is pathetic. The fact that people on this board, in this town, are following that shiny distraction and attacking the people who are helping raise their children because they don’t think they are dressed well enough or are in good enough shape paints a sad picture for the future of this place. If you accept the bs from talking heads like the New Hanover Board of Education without looking more closely at it and finding out what is actually going on in our schools and how that affects your student, then you deserve to be led over the cliff like sheep you are.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Teachers aren’t the only salaried people that work more than the forty hours a week. Teachers are paid more than the average worker in North Carolina. But I don’t hear these people complaining. I guess they are grateful to have a job. Teachers should be grateful too.

  • ak says:

    Perhaps teachers could afford more formal attire if they were given raises?

  • JIMWIS says:

    Maybe if bank tellers et al. were paying off 40K to 50K in college loans in order to do their job, they too would not be able to afford to buy their nice clothes.

    Wake up. I am educated. I know way more about this world than you. I teach upper level physics and chemistry classes. I am a VERY educated person.

    Treat me as such. Quit with the terrible logic.

  • 8844 says:

    Bank tellers, retail workers and many many others get paid a lot less than teachers and yet they can somehow find the resources to dress professionally. Are you saying teachers are incapable of doing that as well?

    If that’s really the case, maybe they’re not as qualified as they say they are. If others can do it so can they.

  • 8844 says:

    A lot of the bank tellers I know are college graduates and are just starting out in their banking / business careers. They’ve got the same obligations as you. If you really are a “VERY” educated person you should know that.

    I have multiple degrees. I’ve been in the business world for years. The very fact that you’re audacious enough to state that you “know way more about this world than you” just points out how naive (or obnoxious) you really are.

    Quit with the terrible sense of entitlement. Teachers, just like the rest of us, put their pants on one leg at a time.

  • SayWha? says:

    When someone says something like that, I tend to think they they may be a tad pretentious.

  • Jen says:

    My sister-in-law is a bank teller. She is also a UNC-CH graduate. She is paying off tens of thousands of dollars in college loans yet she is able to dress appropriately for work. Despite your education, you don’t appear to know as much as you seem to think.

  • Payuswhatweareworth says:

    Actually, I am willing to bet you are a HS graduate who barely made it through your 2 year degree (if at all) and get all high and mighty on here because it makes you feel better because your job, life and situation aren’t what you thought they would be when your 9th grade teacher engaged you in what you goals would be after you graduated HS.

  • Sandra H Howerton says:

    Do bank tellers have to get down on the floor with kids working on projects? Do they have to supervise and sometimes even participate in playground activities? Do they have to work in un-air-conditioned buildings? Those and many other factors make sensible, casual clothes and shoes much more appropriate for many teachers than dressy clothes.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Teachers are paid pretty good. Granted, it is not Markley’s secretary money. But then again, she does what she does year round.

  • Stressed Teacher says:

    Are you serious that teachers get paid pretty good!!!! What job do you know where you use your OWN money to pay for the supplies you need for your job. Does a doctor pay for his scapel, NO? It’s sad when teachers are leaving the profession because they can’t support a family on the salary they pay. Have you ever walked in a teachers shoes??? Nope you haven’t… you go to work, if you work and leave not thinking twice about that job until you go back to it the next day. A teacher works from 7 in the morning until ungodly hours at night due to th amount of stuff they take HOME, many times neglecting their family to do school work. Oh and those summers are time off not spent at school but mostly in professional development so that they can better themselves for the next year. I would give one day to see you spend just an hour alone with 25 children, and see if you make that comment again. Teachers love, care for, and hurt alot of times for those students they teach. They see things you couldn’t even imagine seeing on a daily bases (abuse, broken hearts, broken homes, etc.)

  • Toni Snyder says:

    What a joke, why are teachers getting such a bad rap, have they no rights? As far as the comment about a secretary working year-round, please the secretaries in these high paying positions are pretty much off limits to the other Nhcs employees, no one wants to bother the Superintendent or
    board secretary with their problems. They are put on pedestals. This whole situation is so unfair.

  • unknown says:

    Even if teachers worked year round (taking work home every night and weekends), they still wouldn’t get paid as much as the secretaries do at Central Office.

  • Flo says:

    Teacher salaries are a matter of public knowledge. Look them up and see how well we are paid. Most of us work well over 50 hours a week and we are paid for 10 months. We are not paid for the summer months. Many of us work part time during the school year to be able to provide sufficiently for our families. We then work a summer job in order to have income during July and August. We do purchase supplies for our students and most of us feel that our work is a true calling. Getting paid “pretty good” for educating this state’s children (all children, we do not pick and choose who comes into our classrooms)is just not “good” enough.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I agree. Teachers make more than the average salary in North Carolina. They have the same insurance benefits as other state employees. And they get more time off.

    They really should be thankful for what they have instead of complaining about what they don’t have. After all, there are a lot of people out there who are unemployed.

  • teachingismycalling says:

    I have been teaching for over 15 years and have two masters’ degrees, national board certification, and have a year into a doctorate degree in education to enhance my own pedagogy. In 15 years, there has never been a time when I haven’t taken classes or conducted relevant research to better instruction and learning for my students, other people’s children. This means I work about 18 hours every day of every week (Sat and Sun included) to make ends meet. I am good at what I do and enjoy helping my students develop a love for learning. However; I cannot support my own children or make my mortgage payments on a modest house without a second income. I have not bought new clothes in 15 years unless you count the thrift shop purchases I must make. I am now being told that I will not receive the extra pay that was promised when I finish my doctorate degree. How will I ever pay off my school loans? I realize this is a ‘right to work’ state, and understand strikes and signs are unlawful. So what can I do to express my frustration….wear a red shirt once a week? Oh wait, can’t do that either. To top it off, some of the parents of the children I try to motivate and engage every day are now INSULTING teachers. I am truly scared for the future of NCPS, especially for my own children. This is truly a depressing time for NC public school students and teachers alike.

  • Dan Temple says:

    I am always sad to read the comments attached to these stories. There are so many sad, angry people on here who seem to think that the privilege granted to them in their normal lives gives agency to their making snide, factually incorrect statements online. Let’s deal with these point-by-embarrassing-point. First, teachers do not have summers off. Teachers are paid on nine or ten month contracts. So, please stop arguing that paid for summer vacation; it’s not true. You are either lying or desperately wrong. Teachers have a right to work or not work in the summer. Either way, it’s none of your business because they are not paid for that time. Second, teachers make more than the average salary in the state because they have better educations and training than at least 70 percent of people in this state. That’s right, only 32 percent of North Carolinians have a college education. Teachers are paid what the market dictates. So you may no longer claim that they are overpaid. In fact, a comparative analysis of the teaching market suggests they are underpaid relative to 40 or more states in this country. Third, teachers do not work for you. You are a small, minority stakeholder in the classroom. Have a problem? Get in line behind the thousands of other people who pay property taxes in your school district. Teachers are responsible for your child’s education and well being, but they are not your employees. Why say this way anyway? Are you so sad because your own life turned out badly that you need to attack a teacher? Are you so powerful and successful that you think this agency translates into the school system? Or, are you just the guy in line yelling at the cashier about the cost of vegetables? Either way, it does not empower you to state that teachers work for you. Finally, please stop lambasting teachers over professional dress, while out of the other side of your mouth you argue to freeze their minute salaries. People shop at Kohls when they can’t afford Bannana Republic. Also, the “not your employee” issue is also relevant. They do not work for you. They are not your employee. There are thousands of other individuals who pay into the system, and you are only one. This raging stupidity is the equivalent of me asking why Northeast Utilities does not consult me on business practices despite my ownership of stock in the company. The answer is obvious, they work for many, many other stakeholders, customers, plus a board of directors. So do teachers. I get that we live in a rough economy, and you’re mad. You work hard, and yet, are somehow so blinded by sociopathy that many of you fail to see that others do to and that you have no authority to tell them what to expect. This is not your dinner table. You may not take that tone.

  • Pagan says:

    Shameful that the school board doesn’t support teachers and education. This county board is made up of all Republicans, some of who have their kids in private schools so they are against public schools in fact. This action is just like the governor and NC legislature to tear down teachers and public education. Teachers need support and good pay. What’s going on in this state is a disgrace. Hopefully the teacher will WEAR SOMETHING RED EVERY DAY!

  • Guest2020 says:

    What is pathetic is teachers complaining about what they don’t have instead of being grateful for what they do have. The teachers protesting have a job. They get paid more than the average salary for North Carolina. They have the same insurance benefits as other state employees. They get more time off than most employees.

  • Payuswhatweareworth says:

    Maybe these teachers would dress more professional if they weren’t forced to buy all their clothes from Goodwill because of being some of the lowest paid in the country. Its pathetic.

  • James Taylor says:

    Good thing I’m not a teacher. I would be buying extra shirts to give out to students.

  • Dorlene Evans says:

    I read with interest, your posting of this article. I would also invite you to do a follow-up on this story – and quickly – as the New Hanover County School Board has reversed their decision. For further clarification, please contact:

    I am a 35-year veteran teacher, with a Master’s Degree and National Board Certification. I am proud of the profession I chose, and in which I am heavily invested and trained. I am also an active member of North Carolina Association of Educators for the same reason – pride in my profession.
    While there is much concern regarding the current status of public school education, both nationally and locally, and by all political and non-political segments of our population, recent legislation in the state of North Carolina has been decidedly and intentionally enacted against the welfare of children, families, educators and supporters of public education. Many of these decisions are being challenged, and supporters of public education are engaged in many activities toward their reversal. Wearing “Red for Ed” is only one of those activities, and is shared by many more than just teachers.
    It is important to remember that challenging unpopular legislation is not unique to ‘only educators,’ but rather all segments of our population and is a Democratic right and responsibility of our citizenry to do so.
    I ask that, before vilifying teachers for standing up for their professional rights and full and appropriate funding for public education, we consider why and honor the efforts of a profession which prepares our citizens for our future.

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