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  • Writer's pictureAngela Humphries

Are Parents Being Silenced?

Updated: Nov 24, 2019


In light of the May 2019 teacher strike,

it's time we realized we have not heard a word from NC parents and students.

We have heard NCAE’s Mark Jewell droll on about teachers, students, and school staff on numerous news outlets and public school forums but have not heard a peep about the impact on North Carolina’s working parents.

The story is clear. NCAE trumps working parents. Balanced reporting seems to have become a thing of the past and one, loud, large perspective is the focus of the media. Having caught flack in the past for the lack of options available, the NCAE listed a few options in the faith community or at local daycares where parents could deposit their children for the day.

As a parent, this does not scream child-focused as the NCAE claims to be or take the safety of my children seriously. If some folks are right, that parents have had weeks to prepare for the NCAE strike, they simply do not understand the financial burden or lack of quality child keeping services available.

The reality is: on May 1, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of kids at home with little to no supervision because their teachers are taking a day trip to Jones Street. Maybe they'll discover new, innovate ways of learning while they're out. Maybe they'll research schools which employ staff who are committed to families.

Parents have been on the receiving end of dreaded cancellations which impact work and personal responsibilities. Were parents supposed to prepare as early as last year? Actually, some say, “yes.” Although the NCAE didn’t announce the date as some have suggested, they've want this to be the new normal.

Last year on Jones Street on May 16th the NCAE, lined up 19,000 people from all over the US so this means I should get childcare for May 1st of this year? I surely hope others are laughing too.

Charter and private schools have cancelled as recently as last week and it’s important to note not all of them are closing. As counter intuitive as it may seem, the NCAE is not advocating for all teachers, schools, and children in the state. If we read up on collective bargaining, we will find competition among public and charter is frowned upon in unions. The NCAE isn’t advocating on behalf of teachers, as private school teachers and home educators are left out in the cold, they just advocate for the teachers that pay them to lobby.

Parents have choices. In NC school choices are public charter, private, district, online, hybrid and home school education. Don’t let the NCAE take those choices away from North Carolinians. If you want to give them a raise, consider recommending teachers, students, staff and retirees proceed to #OptOut of NCAE.

They’ve sidelined the parents, students and marched on through… right up to the ballot boxes on November 6 last year for one type of candidate. Voters didn’t even know why they voted for some candidates. NCAE fans were told who to vote for-packaged neatly on a voter guide, or cheat sheet. I will be at this strike-and encourage others from all over our state to join in. The overlooked conversations must occur.

Parents from all walks of life will have to secure childcare arrangements for May 1. Parents and students must not be fearful to share their stories-they deserve to be heard. I hope that a strike which includes “respect,” in the classroom also demands it in everyday life, as well as in conversations online. I witnessed very little respectful conversation when asking “Parents-how will you work around no school unexpectedly?”

September 30, 2019 is your deadline to leave the NCAE.

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