On Friday, May 3, 2019, Davidson County teachers went on strike due to the amounts of their raises. Teachers were unhappy to discover their raises were only 3%. More than 1,000 teachers called out and schools called parents warning them of these conditions.
McGavock High School had 123 teachers call in “sick” due to their anger. This is referred to as a “sickout.” There were so many teachers absent that they couldn’t get enough substitutes to replace them. This caused students to have to go into the school theater. McGavock was forced to excuse any absent students because of the lack of teachers.
Teachers warned that they will do this again if things do not change. Being so close to exams, this puts students at risk of not getting enough time to ask questions and feel confident in their exams. Some schools cancelled classes over this strike.
Davidson County isn’t the only place planning strikes based on teachers pay. On May 1, 2019, teachers in Columbia, South Carolina went on strike due to unfair pay. About 400 of these teachers signed a petition to strike.
People were criticizing the teachers for walking out on their students, but teachers told them they were doing this for their students benefit as well as their own, saying they wanted to make these changes in hopes of having teachers in the future.
“The protests came after months of hearings and debates at the statehouse, where lawmakers and Republican governor, Henry McMaster had vowed to overhaul the state’s education system. The Senate budget would give teachers at least a 4% raise, with the youngest teachers receiving as much as a 10% raise as part of an effort to retain young workers,” said the Post and Courier.