Hundreds participate in Day of Action events statewide

Hundreds of MEA members statewide participated in Day of Action events Tuesday to protest budget cuts and attacks on school employees and the middle class.

Here’s a sampling of the activities:

  • In Holland, more than 100 MEA members and supporters marched along a busy downtown street. Passersby waved and honked to signal support.
  • In Troy, retired educators carried signs that read “Stop the Attacks!”
  • In Macomb County, members of 17 local associations staged protests, including a march at Richards Middle School in Fraser, where some wore red T-shirts that read “TEACH” and “SOLIDARITY.”
  • In Mount Pleasant, about 50 concerned public school employees, including Central Michigan University faculty, attended a State Board of Education “listening session” to comment on budget cuts, plans to dismantle teacher tenure, and more.
  • In Jackson County, members rallied at a busy intersection in Jackson.

Several Capitol protests this year have drawn thousands to Lansing, but the real impact of the budget cuts and anti-public school legislation will be felt locally. The Day of Action was organized to encourage local association members and supporters to reach out to parents, neighbors, business owners, and others to spread the word about what’s going on.

“This is about the students and their future, but it’s real personal for me, too, as I’m one of…52 West Ottawa teachers who were pink-slipped today,” Allison Freas, a high school business teacher told The Grand Rapids Press.

In Jackson, two Republican legislators showed up at the rally, giving MEA members a chance to share concerns about lawmakers’ plans for public education.

Hanover-Horton teacher Tracy Sierle told Rep. Earl Poleski, R-Spring Arbor Township. “Decisions are being made by the state that our local community doesn’t want. Unless you live here or teach here you shouldn’t make decisions for us.”