SOUTH CAROLINA (WFXG) - Wednesday teachers in South Carolina are planning to ‘walk out’ in order to have their voices be heard. Some schools are closing completely for the day, others have enough teachers that will be present to stay open.
The teachers are planning to protest in hopes of getting educational reform. Many local school districts say they are not concerned about their teachers walking out.
Arthur Northrop, Edgefield District Public Information Officer, says everything will operate as normal. “In terms of Edgefield County School District, it’s just another day in our district we’ve checked earlier today and our attendance rate for pre-approved absences and personal leave and sick days is actually the same as it’s been the past three Wednesdays .”
But, in Columbia teachers will be protesting for improvement in areas including wages and classroom sizes. In Bamberg Superintendent, Phyllis Schwarting, says “7 teachers out of our 3 schools have let us know they are ‘walking out.’”
Aiken County Public Schools board and leadership says they “honor the rights of employees to respectfully advocate for causes of importance to them.”
School leaders just ask that the teachers planned ahead of time to be absent in accordance to their policy regarding using personal days. Denny Ulmer, Principal at Bamberg Ehrhardt High School, says he is not aware of any of his teachers that will be protesting.
“I’m not trying to sway my people one way or another, if they feel strongly about it then I would hope that they’ve contacted me and let me know so we can prepare,” Ulmer said.
Aiken, Edgefield and Bamberg Counties are supportive of their teachers and hope at the end of the day they see a positive outcome.
“Overall the district is very supportive of teachers voicing their concerns at this point in time. Teachers are on the front line of educating the youth of our county and when it comes to things like teacher wages and classroom sizes and excessive testing, they need a seat at the table they need to have a voice in this process,” Northrop said.
“I do support their right to do so and we’re going to go on and have a normal school day and do our best to educate our kids,” Ulmer said.