This is Joe’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. Goff. She was arrested after walking over 20 miles from Durham to the state capitol hoping to speak with our Governor.
Was she asking for a much deserved raise for herself? After all, she is working in a state that is next to last in teacher pay. Was she asking for a much deserved increase in health benefits for her colleagues or a decrease in the premiums/co-pays they have to pay? She had every right to ask for those things… but she didn’t.
Along with a repeal of HB2 (the “NC bathroom bill” which teaches our children to hate themselves and/or become bullies towards an incredibly vulnerable population), she walked 20+ miles to Raleigh to ask for a reinstatement of health benefits for our poorest children, whose Medicaid coverage was slashed and who struggle with illness every day in our classrooms. She also wanted to stand up against a plan put forth by our legislators to strip local control from a number of schools and turn them over to for-profit corporations… schools that (no-surprise) disproportionately serve low-income and minority students.
Instead of offering a listening ear to our over-worked/under-paid/self-sacrificial teachers marching 20+ miles during their so-called “summer off”, the Governor locked the capitol building early. He said his schedule was too busy to meet with them. And when our teachers refused to leave, he had more than a dozen of them arrested as they held hands and sang in the street in front of the taxpayer-funded building that they’d been locked out of.
THIS HAPPENED Y’ALL: Joe’s kindergarten teacher was handcuffed, loaded into a van, and taken to jail. Because we were too busy/distracted to vote in the mid-term elections. Because we didn’t think it mattered who was in charge of our local governments.
What can you do? Check your voter registration. Find out if you’re registered to vote in November and start researching where your polling place is NOW. If you’re in NC, call Governor McCrory’s office at 919-814-2000 and ask him to meet with our educators and fund our schools properly. Public education should not be a partisan issue… our teachers come from all political walks of life and they need our support. Our #studentsdeservemore… we all deserve more.
I am so sorry, Ms. Goff. I’m sorry that we have failed you so badly, when you have never failed our kids once. I’m sorry that we let our state get into such a quagmire.
We’re listening. We hear you. We support you. We thank you.
November can’t get here soon enough.