Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers went to Raleigh this week to give voice to their profession. And CMS did the right thing by closing schools to avoid causing division amongst the teachers.

But some adults weren’t happy about the students’ unscheduled day off. State Rep. Mark Brody, a Republican, claimed that “Teacher union thugs want to control the education process.” But North Carolina’s union membership is the lowest in the country, and we are a right-to-work state. So, are these Carolina “thugs” really that tough?

The teachers didn’t wake up one day and decide to go the state Capitol on a whim. We drove them to do it.

Our teacher pay and per-student spending are ranked 39th in the nation. With 50 states in the union, we aren’t even in the 50-percent range.

But pay was not the only factor that fueled the Thursday march and rally. Teachers also said they were concerned about an overall decrease in the number of school counselors. And let’s not forget the gigantic class sizes due to overcrowding. (Some teachers also pay for school supplies out of their own pockets.)

We trust teachers with our most prized possessions, but we don’t believe in supporting them.

Why are we so comfortable with teachers using their own money to help educate our children? It’s called public schools!

We know that many of kids in schools today arrive with a lot of personal issues. They are dealing with abusive parents, homelessness, chronic depression and neighborhood gangs.

Teachers went to college to earn degrees in education, but we are asking them to be social workers. We are expecting them to be underpaid and to over-deliver.

I don’t expect my employer to treat me that way, so why is it okay when it’s a teacher? We expect so much from the people who shape and mold our children’s lives. It’s time to treat them accordingly.

Read More