❝Listen…now just listen to me.❞
❝You need to be back in the classroom.❞
❝I can be the town redneck too…❞
As you read these comments you’re probably thinking that a parent or group of parents have said these comments, correct? WRONG! The governor, THE GOVERNOR of West Virginia told an amphitheater of teachers yesterday. It was advertised as a Town Hall meeting. But had teachers not started shouting out questions he would’ve continued to demoralize us and call us everything under the sun. He had the audacity to sit there and tell us we were mediocre and partly that’s because we’re from West Virginia. This is what we’re up against in West Virginia. Between Ferns, Carmichael, and several other senators you would think the outlook is bleak.
These senators and our governor forgets that we’re West Virginians. We are tenacious and we will fight for what’s right. The governor calling us rednecks yesterday he honestly thought he was insulting us. Apparently he needs to take a course in his own state’s history. The term redneck was coined and made famous in relation to the coal miner strikes of the early 20th century. The reaction from the crowd let it be known that we were angry at that comment.
But enough about the negative. The community my school is in has really shown its support for all of the public workers. There’s been a long string of honking cars driving by from 8AM-5PM the past four days. They’ve brought us food, coffee, hot chocolate, water, etc. They thank us and tell us to keep fighting for what’s right. They understand that we’re fighting for other public employees since many of them cannot walk out.
It’s a feeling of pride that surrounds my heart when a car or truck drives by and honks. It expands more when someone stops and drops us off food or even words of encouragement. Retired teachers are even coming to stand alongside of us. Last Friday a very familiar face came and stood with us for a couple of hours.
This was MY fourth grade teacher and she was a wonderful educator. It felt like something had come full circle standing next to her.
Group photo of the 10-1 shift.
We are now on our 4th day and the amazing thing is all 55 counties have closed school for another day. However, I do miss my students. I miss being the classroom. But until there’s an actual resolution to all of this you can bet we will be standing out along our schools, holding our signs and waving back at you like the dumb redneck bunnies that we are.