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North Carolina Teacher Union Officials Fiddle While Schools Close

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North Carolina Education Association teacher union officials are pleased with the havoc they have brought about urging teachers to rally and protest on May 15. T. Kung Hui has the story in News Observer.

Wake County school leaders announced Monday afternoon that schools will be closed May 16 because more than 2,500 teachers, or more than a quarter of all Wake teachers, have requested May 16 off. Thousands of teachers from across the state plan to be in Raleigh for the “March For Students and Rally For Respect.”

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Durham and Chapel Hill-Carrboro school systems had already decided to close May 16 because so many teachers plan to be out. The Orange County and the Guilford County school systems and Mooresville Graded School District in Iredell County also announced Monday that they’ll close May 16.

“I think it is sad that WCPSS bent to political pressure from teachers unions and Democrat politicians who are playing politics with our children,” said Wake County Republican Party Chairman Charles Hellwig in an email message. “Our students are being used as pawns once again — the left has no shame.”

State House Speaker Tim Moore said “it’s a bad time to be protesting” and closing schools when the end of year exams are coming soon. The Cleveland County Republican also asserted that the marches are partisan.

But the decision to close schools was praised by the Wake County chapter of the N.C. Association of Educators.

“What they decided to do was in the best interests of all the partners in education in this entire county,” said Paulette Jones Leaven, president of Wake NCAE.

Some Wake parents vented their frustration on social media.

“Canceling school right before EOGs is a very poor decision,” tweeted Laura Hudson. “You are telling my kids that a teacher’s protest on a school day is more important than their education. Hard to support that! POLITICS=1, STUDENTS=0.”