UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WJZY) – A Union County charter school was shut down as protests took place on the front lawn.
Parents and teachers are upset with several things taking place at Union Day School, including the recent abrupt firing of popular principal Matt Hamilton.
Teachers are on strike and say they’re also upset with what they’re calling “unfair” practices relating to the board. The protestors, made up of students, teachers, and parents, say they’re demanding change and want board members to resign.
Parents were notified around 10 p.m. Wednesday that school would be out for the rest of the week due to a staff shortage.
“We are going to hold them accountable and keep them honest,” said social studies teacher James Parker.
Teachers are on strike and want an explanation for decisions being made by the board in charge of Union Day School.
“This all started from decisions the board made over the past couple of years,” Parker said.
“When you have six principals in five years, and five of those have been fired — and what’s been consistent is the board of directors — that leaves many questions,” said 7th and 8th-grade design teacher Jennifer Davidson.
Teachers say the recent abrupt firing of popular Principal Matt Hamilton is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“My fight is not just for Matt Hamilton,” said Davidson. “My fight is for Union Day School, and for my own child to have an education she deserves from the excellent teachers employed here.”
“I love this school, I love the parents and the students,” said Parker. “But the board has shown me that my voice as a teacher will never be heard and that I don’t mean anything.”
Teachers began calling out of work Wednesday after they collectively sent an e-mail to the board, demanding answers — but didn’t get any.
“I’m feeling really sad,” said 5th grader Liz Zacarias. “This school is what brings me up.”
“I’m here fighting for my teachers,” said parent Melissa Spencer. “Because if they’re not there, our students are not getting an education or counseling or anything they deserve.”
Parents are standing by teachers. They, too, feel the board isn’t being transparent and there’s no accountability.
“Clear the board,” said Davidson. “We’re all asking for that.”
“I love this school,” said Spencer. “And I’ll fight for it until it’s ripped out of our hands.”
Protestors plan on being back outside the school Friday with an even larger crowd.