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Parents ‘walk in’ N.C. schools as protest against budget cuts

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/11/04/11/54/grXgy.Em.138.jpeg|249
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Dawn Richmond and Ryan Collins, both teachers and parents, hold signs in front of Northwest School of the Arts to protest deep cuts in education funding. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/11/04/11/54/pRT5V.Em.138.jpeg|209
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Theater teacher Bonnie Fraker holds a sign during a protest this morning at Northwest School of the Arts. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/11/04/11/54/pq2xN.Em.138.jpeg|227
    JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
    Parent Sharon Baker (right) and students Sarah Moore (center) and Matt Mitchell (left) line Beatties Ford Rd. in front of Northwest School of the Arts to show support for teachers. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/11/04/09/07/dLkaN.Em.138.JPG|160
    By Davie Hinshaw - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Parents and students show their support for teachers at Elizabeth Lane Elementary School.

Parents and other education supporters were encouraged to visit local schools and wear red Monday, as part of the “Walk-In” scheduled to protest a number of General Assembly actions this year.

It was unclear early Monday morning how successful the effort was.

But there were reports of parents protesting at several Charlotte-area schools, and there also were reports of protests in Cabarrus and Iredell counties, and in Greensboro and Raleigh.

The “Walk-In” was supported by the N.C. Association of Educators as an alternative to a walk-out. NCAE officials said a walk-out would disrupt the education process.

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger last week said the walk-in was a “political protest orchestrated by unions.”

Organizers of Monday’s protest said it was a way for North Carolina residents to voice dissatisfaction with state legislators’ decisions to increase the number of students per class; cut teacher assistant positions; freeze pay; and other actions.

“Walk-In” organizers encouraged parents and other to visit schools, wear red, and leave statements of support for teachers.

In Mecklenburg County, walk-in participation was reported at Elizabeth Lane, Shamrock Gardens and Washam elementary schools; Ranson Middle School; Northwest School of the Arts; East Mecklenburg High School; and Queens Grant Charter School.

Participation in the event also was reported at Patriots Elementary School in Cabarrus County and at East Iredell Elementary School in Iredell County.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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