Friday, May 13, 2011

Teachers Hold 'Grade-In' to Protest SB5

Fifth-grade science teacher Ashlee Michael got a lot of attention Thursday evening as she sat in the Casa de Emanuel restaurant in East Liverpool grading papers. 

And Michael, along with several other teachers in Columbiana County, were hoping they would turn some heads, as they took part in a "grade-in" demonstrating the work they put in after hours to make sure students are successful.

"It's hard to get all the grading and all the other responsibilities done in a regular eight-hour day," Michael said.

Michael said she puts in at least 12 extra hours a week outside of school just grading papers and working on lesson plans.

"I for one have 150 students that I have to make sure that I assess their notebooks, their different assignments, and I have to do that daily," she said.

But the teachers said they have a deeper reason for participating in the "grade-in." They want politicians who voted for Senate Bill 5 to see just how hard they work, even when they're not getting paid to do the work.

"We just want to make the community aware that we're out here and we want the support of the community to protect our union and what we're fighting for, which is equal civil rights in the workplace, the right to bargain for wages, our retirement, and everything like that and our benefits," Michael said.

The teachers are part of an effort to collect enough signatures to place a measure on the November ballot to repeal Senate Bill 5.