On Wednesday, a massive assembly of teachers, parents, and families came together at historical Central High School to show a united Little Rock, as the state considers plans to create separate tiers of education in the capital city’s schools.
With Little Rock Central High and all its grandeur and history serving as a backdrop, more than two thousand people waving electric candles and wearing red (“for ed”) gathered Wednesday to stand united against the state’s plan to divide Little Rock schools and cripple the teachers union. It was a powerful showing.
The bill of speakers reflected the diversity of the opposition to the state plans to return only some of Little Rock School District to local control and end recognition of the Little Rock Education Association, the last teachers union that represents the teachers of a district in collective bargaining in the state.
Stacey McAdoo, a Central High School teacher, the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year and a Little Rock Education Association member, echoed some of the sentiments she shared in a powerful recent op-ed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
“Every single one of us — students, parents and teachers — should feel valued, heard and respected,” she said. “Nothing should be done to us or about us without us. Our voices matter and so do the things we say. We’re not talking about facilities, structural buildings or compiled data. We’re talking about human beings, children… and they are watching. They are dear, sweet, beautiful, brilliant children who deserve our support, our love, endless opportunities — and most of all one district, one locally democratically elected board, and teachers who are respected.” Read more of Lindsay Miller’s coverage in the Arkansas Times >>>
Several Democratic lawmakers were present at the rally:
62 yrs ago this man stood guard over Little Rock Central High School as 9 black students integrated the school He came back tonight to remind everyone that re-segregation has no place in any school I have no words @Mamulart took this photo. #OneLRSD @DianeRavitch @AsaHutchinson pic.twitter.com/fVxIK7db2J
— Erica Ivy (@Erica_L_Ivy) October 10, 2019
— Will Bond (@1willbond) October 10, 2019
— Clarke Tucker (@clarketucker) October 10, 2019