Angela Humphries: Act on School Choice

North Carolina is being fooled.

Teachers unions are putting a brown paper bag over our heads and punching us from all directions. It is violent and disgusting; I know. At first glance, when someone hands you a card with, “We Love Public Schools,” right before you walk in to vote, it appears harmless.

Months later, after you’ve cast your ballot to support public education, voting in that school bond — not realizing at the time, it will be another burden on your finances — you have second thoughts. You have questions. You gulp as you learn about a rally at the capital. Schools are ordered closed by local school board members. You read something to the effect of, “Too many teachers requested the day off. We don’t have that many substitute teachers, so close we must.” You’ll go along with that, for now.

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When you arrive at the rally, various groups march by you, demanding more every time you blink your unsuspecting eyes…pay, Medicaid, Masters and so on. They blow a tuba in your face and scream, “this is what democracy looks like.”

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One turns back to respond to your comments, “You are being used. They’re telling you how to vote. You pay NCAE $500 per year and they tell you how to vote.” You are now interrogated, “When was the last time you were in a classroom? Oh, you’re a homeschooler. That’s not a real school and you’re not a real teacher.”

Respect,” is an easy thing we can give, but can we respect activists working in our public school system making $78,657? How about $280,000? It’s a lot and we’re not even talking about healthcare, pension and other benefits which leave taxpayers hands and land in laps of the school employees. Education is a worthy investment. We all invest, but are we all getting a return on our investments?

In 2013, I ditched my “love” for district schools. Doug Thilman tried assuring me — without any proof — my daughter was never left alone with Brian Holt Self, a man accused of inappropriate behavior with students while serving as a substitute in various county schools. We received a letter and a robocall from the district which implied otherwise. From there, I sought options.

With great ease, we filled out an online application for a public Charter School. Click here to see what defines a public Charter School in North Carolina. Maybe Charter Schools are an option which no one’s told you about yet. Why would they? You’ve probably heard they’re, “funneling money out of public schools.” Grrr! How dare they? Take a closer look at your dollars funneling in to schools here.

Loving public schools must include our public Charters too. Why does the Office of Equity Affairs have teachers senselessly rallying, when student’s privacy rights were seemingly violated in a Heritage High School English class, all in the name of diversity?

Why is it anytime I mention the district was irresponsible to have left a little girl outside, without her bus driver and any supervision that I instantly become the bad guy in a conversation?

Why do online community pages block parents who wish to inform the community of a situation in district schools?

The constant restriction of speech and allowing NCAE to hold the megaphone, silences what’s really occurring in our communities and it’s removing words and thoughts as in Orwell’s novel, 1984.

Why is this happening? It’s all about the Benjamins, baby. Education for activists who make up the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and affiliates is no longer about scoring higher and preparing children for success in the real world — it’s about money, politics and power.

It’s time to ditch the brown paper bags and learn how badly we’re being used. It’s
time to do something about it. Start by attending school board meetings, or watching online and sharing your findings. Get connected with people who have similar interests. We have all complained about an election in our past, but change starts with your action and involvement. If you’re happy to lose more income or wages to the next school bond or county property tax coming down the line, then by all means, remain as you were.

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