Some North Carolina teachers want Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to know that he landed on their "naughty list" this holiday season.
Displeased with recently passed education legislation, a group of teachers and activists delivered a bag of coal to McCrory’s Charlotte office Tuesday in a holiday-themed protest. Robert Corriher, one of the event’s organizers, dressed up as Santa Claus and took photos with protestors as they carried signs and sang rewritten carols about teachers, Corriher told The Huffington Post over the phone.
According to a statement released about the event, the teachers disagree with various pieces of legislation passed under McCrory’s leadership that stagnate teacher pay, eliminate teacher tenure and cease the state’s Teaching Fellows program. The statement also notes that North Carolina teachers have some of the worst salaries in the country and that the state will likely rank nearly last in terms of per-pupil spending for 2013 – 2014.
Corriher, who is not a teacher, teamed up with local teaching assistant Hollie Blake to put together the event and says he hopes the governor takes note of the protest.
“I hope he realizes there are people in North Carolina who are willing to stand up for what they’re doing, I hope he realizes we’re capable of getting national attention for these issues,” said Corriher. “If he wants a second term, he’s going to have to start treating teachers fairly.”
However, in a Charlotte Observer article published ahead of the protest, a spokesperson for McCrory dismissed the event.
“Governor McCrory has said multiple times that he will be offering solutions, including a raise, for North Carolina’s hard working teachers,” the spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, another PR (public relations) stunt does nothing to help our hard working teachers and students.”
McCrory recently indicated he is interested in rolling out teacher pay raise proposals in the immediate future.
"Right now the increase in their pay is happening so slowly that many of them may be leaving after the first several years, when we're losing potential good career teachers for life," McCrory told The Associated Press in November.