Mrs.Burke Photo

Claire Stinger, Staff Writer

As teachers from over seventy-five different districts joined the vow to rally at the Indiana Statehouse, schools began to close for the day. On November 19th, 2019 a rally at the Indiana Statehouse entitled “Red for Ed” brought thousands of teachers together over the same upsetting situations. In fact, nearly 12,000 people registered prior to saying they would be in attendance. Outside the statehouse, teachers rallied with signs that voiced their opinion on standardized testing, funding, and primarily teachers’ pay.  A statistic, provided by the Indiana State Teachers Association, says that 72% of Indiana voters say that public school teachers are paid too little. Indiana has lower pay than surrounding states.

     This rally impacted schools in all of Indiana, and people spoke out on the situation via social media. Some Facebook users took the liberty of using a frame on their profile pictures that reads “I Support Indiana Teachers #RedForEd.” The filter was provided by the Indiana State Teachers Association. While there was a large number of people who shown their support by using the frame on their profile picture, many people were simply still upset. People were not upset that teachers were going but that Fayette County Schools and other surrounding schools closed for the day. 

Ms.Burke Photo

      Upset people took the opportunity to post their opinions on the News-Examiners post which read “Do you support teachers heading to Indy on Nov. 19 for “Red for Ed” day?” The majority of the comments were expressing their support of the teachers, but a few comments were not as supportive. Some parents and guardians did not like that their children will have to make this day up at the end of the year. Other Facebook users expressed that they were upset certain schools would be offering an “e-learning” day, while Fayette County School corporation did not offer this to their students.  

     Fayette County teachers attended the march and expressed their first amendment right in many different ways. The publications teacher at CHS, Audrey Burke, attended the action day. She carried a sign that read “My second job paid for this sign.” Burke attended the action day at the statehouse “because as long as politicians are involved in education, educators should be involved in politics.” She believes very strongly as well, that she had an obligation to go. If she did not go, she felt as if she would have been “part of the problem.”

      Burke was not the only CHS teacher that attended the action day. Computer and business teacher Ms. Franklin attended the march as well. She said that closing school on this day was the correct way to go about this situation. Franklin believes that closing school was the best way to “gain public attention” and get people involved, as well as help them understand the situation better. Some teachers chose not to get involved, Franklin wanted to “support public education, fellow teachers and students”.

     While many other teachers from CHS attended the action day, the final teacher that will be mentioned is Mrs. Davis. This language arts teacher wore a hoodie that had the “#redfored” logo on it. As well as carried a sign that read “we expect respect.” Davis felt “OBLIGATED” to attend this action day. Davis voiced her opinion on the situation in a very clear manner. “Legislators and lawmakers and decision-makers have been bulldozing their way into what they think is “BEST” for students for years and it’s way past time for them to LISTEN to educators.” Davis explained that closing school on this day was the “only course of action for that day. The corporation was left with inadequate human resources to cover all the classrooms.”

     Anywhere from 15-20,000 people attended this march, all of which had similar opinions to the CHS teachers on these issues. The outcome of the Red for Ed action day was the largest that has ever occurred in Indiana.