Educators criticized for taking day to protest

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 10:09pm

It was a raucous day of protest at the Capitol with educators taking Governor Jindal to task for his education overhaul plans. But now different organizations, going on the record, bashing teachers for taking a day off to show up for the protest.

The Baton rouge Area Chamber said: "Students begin taking very important standardized tests next week and should be in school preparing instead of enjoying a surprise vacation day," said BRAC education council Danny Montelaro, in a prepared statement.

The schools were closed in East Baton Rouge Parish Wednesday because of teacher's taking the day off. BRAC called that decision, irresponsible.

But educators say otherwise.

"I can understand that also," said Laron McCurry, a teacher at Baker High School. "But I'm pretty sure if their job was on the line, and it affected them that much, then they'd be doing the same thing."

The state director of the Black Alliance for Educational Options called the school shutdown Wednesday, unfortunate, saying that the teacher's were playing politics, instead of putting the children first.

"No one is saying teachers shouldn't be able to advocate for their causes," said Eric Lewis, state director for Black Alliance for Educational Options. "But today wasn't about attacks on teachers."

Hundreds of teachers, disagreed, saying that if more people vocally supported public education, then they wouldn't need to rally for their cause.

"If parents and people sympathetic to public education (who) believe in public education, if they would support teachers, there would be no need to come out here," said Doris Valdry, who works at Greenbrier Elementary.

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