If your family listens to the news regularly — maybe even if you just listen every once in a while — you know about the teacher protests, walkouts and sit-ins happening nationwide.
You definitely know about them if your kid’s school is closing.
Be it Colorado, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona or elsewhere, teachers are fed up with a lack of education funding, salaries, pensions and more.
How to show support for protesting teachers
If you agree with your kids’ teachers (and whatever demands they may be making during their protests), and you want to show your support but don’t know how, we’ve compiled some ideas for you.
We spoke with Jacqueline Moran-Sargen, a mom and #RedforEd supporter in Arizona.
Here’s what she had to say.
1. Wear Red
Following Arizona’s lead with the #RedforEd trend, wear red if you stand by teachers and school staff demanding change.
Any red shirt will do, but if you want to put your money where your mouth is, consider purchasing this one from The Wright Stuff Chics, the proceeds go toward funding classroom makeovers.
2. Attend walk-ins
Nothing says “I’ll stand by you,” like physically standing next to your kid’s teacher while they advocate for what they believe in.
3. Share your support on social media, especially with photos
Jacqueline never thought her Facebook posts would make much of a difference, but she’s received an overwhelming amount of positive responses, she said.
Teachers will appreciate seeing your support, she said. And your post might be that extra boost of confidence a nervous teacher might need to push themselves to take a stand.
4. Display fliers, bumper stickers or signs
For the same reasons as tip No. 3, you should display your support out in public, too. Social media is great for friends and family, but these are people whom you already know. It’s likely they share the same or at least similar views as you.
Now go take your voice and spread it with strangers whom you’ve never spoken to before.
Imagine seeing a sea of stickers promoting teachers and education during your daily drives.
5. Wear stickers and be prepped with talking points
Talk with your local education organizations or go on Etsy.com and you’ll quickly find pro-teacher, pro-education stickers for purchase.
Wear them and arm yourself with a few quick facts about the movement, so you’ll know what to say if people ask you about it.
Pro tip: Make sure to stay up-to-date with your local news station. You’ll want any information you disperse to be as accurate as possible.
6. Purchase grocery-store gifts cards for school support staff
Be sure to check with your local school, but if the district closes for a protest or walkout, there’s a good chance support staff (think cafeteria workers, janitors, etc.) will not be paid during that period.
Lend a helping hand by gifting Target, Walmart and grocery store gift cards, if you can.
7. Speak at school board meetings
“It takes about three minutes of time but will tell the leaders of educators that you support the movement,” Morgan-Sargent said.
8. Call and write letters to your state lawmakers
Will you get a super personal, custom letter response from your representative? NOPE. Will the actual rep even read it? Probably not.
But if enough people voice their concerns, then whoever DOES read the mail should relay those opinions to the lawmaker.
9. Keep kids out of school during walkout days
The truth is, even if teachers deeply believe in what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, many of them feel guilty, Moran-Sargent said. They don’t want to walk out on your children, but they feel change is crucial.
They feel the states walked out on them long ago. They feel their current actions could result in long-term change for the better. If you agree with the teachers, then keep your kids home. Don’t make them physically walk out on your child.