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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Wearing red to send a message to Rick Scott about Florida education



maryad.jpgHoping to send Rick Scott a clear but subtle message on his inauguration day, Florida public school supporters are calling for a flood of red clothing on Tuesday.

Teachers and other backers of public education have taken to wearing red on days of significance to schooling, and perhaps no day will be more monumental than the one where Scott brings his pro-voucher, anti-tenure stance to the Governor's Office. Florida AFL-CIO president Mike Williams explained it to his members this way:

"Education is not a business, children are not products. Teachers, students, parents and activists have joined together on social media sites to form a grassroots movement to defend public education in the state of Florida.  These concerned citizens are calling for friends of public education to wear red  on Governor-Elect Rick Scott’s Inauguration Day, Tuesday January 4 . They chose red to signify their outrage towards the proposed measures that Florida’s government will be trying to implement."

Some educators began pushing the idea on Facebook, and it's taking off with strong union backing. Kim Black, president of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association, sent a message to her members Monday asking for their participation.

"Parents, teachers and community members are urged to wear red on Tuesday, sending a message to our future Governor on his Inauguration Day, that a strong, high quality public education is key for improving our economic situation and for providing the foundation of a true democracy," she wrote.

Hillsborough union president Jean Clements told reporter Tom Marshall that many of her members might not get the word in time, since a message about the protest was only sent to building representatives today.

But Clements said she was planning to wear red.

"There’s no reason not to be expressing concern over the various proposals coming out of Tallahassee that would directly impact public education," she said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 9:34am]


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