Many schools in Kentucky were forced to close their classroom doors on Friday, April 2. Thousands of students, teachers and citizens marched to Kentucky’s state capitol to protest that Kentucky’s teachers need higher pay, better pension plans and many other things that the state wasn’t providing them with.
“Both of my parents teach at the public high school I went to, so I went to be in solidarity with them,” said Ethan Kohl, a 2017 graduate of Boone County High School in Florence, Kentucky.
According to USA Today, at least 39 school districts had to close on that Friday due to the teachers going on strike. Some school districts were on spring break during the strikes, meaning some teachers didn’t have to leave their job.
“ I certainly think that they (the strikes) were warranted,” said Jeramy Powers, teacher at Scottsburg High School.
Matt Bevin, Kentucky’s Governor said that teachers were very vocal, but not part of the solution, according to USA Today. Just recently, Bevin added more fuel to the fire when he made comments about the strikes, many of which were found offensive.
“Somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was no one there to watch them,” said Bevin. Bevin has since apologized for making these comments.
Lawmakers in Kentucky have voted to override Bevin’s veto of a two year state budget that increased public education spending with a more than $480 million tax increase.
“It is important for students and teachers to stand up because education is our future. It’s important for us to not only defend our right to a quality education, but to also show bad politicians that they can’t do selfish, reckless and harmful things without regard for the ramifications,” said Kohl. “They work for the people.”
Similar strikes occurred across America the same week, including states like Oklahoma.