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Lexington One trustee says she will stand with teachers at SC Statehouse for education reform Wednes

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Lexington School District One School Board member Jada Garris took to social media recently to make it clear she stands with teachers who will rally at the SC Statehouse Wednesday. SC for Ed, the organizer of the event, say that thousands of teachers will come from across the state to rally because they think lawmakers haven’t done enough to help teachers by reforming our education system this year. The teachers are being asked to wear all red as a way of making sure that lawmakers know they’re teachers and what they are standing for. There will be many speakers during the rally and a schedule of those has already been released. (SCHEDULE)

Garris, a frequent user of Facebook, was elected without any real campaign budget by running a grassroots social media campaign. She used that platform again to let everyone know exactly where she stands on teachers’ expectations.

In her post Garris said, “I will be attending the Day of Reflection at the South Carolina State House on May 1st where a group of concerned educators and citizens have found their voice and organized a rally that will potentially have thousands of attendees. I believe that leaders must listen to the people who work on the front lines in education. This rally will happen because educators, parents and concerned citizens know that their voices are not being heard.

I believe that you are gathering because you want what is best for your students and are fulfilling your obligations to your students by raising your voice. On this day you will be teaching your students far more than what they would have learned in the classroom. You will be putting your intentions into action by showing them that they matter and the future of our education system matters. This isn’t just about more pay. It’s about smaller class sizes, fully funding education, teaching to the student - not the test, enforcing discipline, and providing funding for more mental health counselors. Most importantly, it is about education reform that includes input from educators.

I will not align myself with officials who’s opposition of this rally resides in assertions that the organizers have unreasonable expectations. If your priority is the children in our schools, every effort must be put into empowering the teachers who educate them. I believe that teachers leaving the classroom for one day is a far better solution than losing highly qualified teachers permanently because of unaddressed concerns.

While I strongly encourage citizens to attend the Day of Reflection, I recognize that many of the problems are within the purview of local school districts. Therefore, I also encourage all concerned citizens to advocate for reform at the local level in order to support our teachers, staff and students.

I look forward to May 1st! I look forward with hope to a day where educators have their voices heard!”

Lexington One has said they will not close their schools Wednesday. Currently, there has only been one Lexington County School District that has said they will not have class that day. Lexington-Richland District Five has said they have had so many teachers request leave that they will need to cancel all classes.

Both SC Governor Henry McMasters and State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman have said they aren’t supporting the rally because it keeps teachers out of school and away from their students. They do however, both support education reform and teachers each have said. Spearman released a statement where she said, "I cannot support teachers walking out on their obligations to South Carolina students, families, and the thousands of hardworking bus drivers, cafeteria workers, counselors, aides, and custodial staff whose livelihoods depend on our schools being operational." Spearman said she will act as a substitute teacher on Wednesday instead of attending the rally.

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