March 30, 2018 Blog

Teachers and public employees pack student lunches amid Capitol protests

Volunteers from Tates Creek Elementary, Breckinridge, Picadome and The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary are all gathering food bags to deliver to students today.

 

While hundreds of Kentucky educators continue to flood the Capitol Friday in protest, many teachers and public employees did their part by packing and delivering food to their students at home.

At least 25 counties called off school Friday after House and Senate Republicans passed a bill altering pension benefits for future teachers and public employees.

At the same time protestors were packing into the Capitol Rotunda, Shavonna Ross, a central office employee and wife to the principal of The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary, and parent to a student, packed lunches for school children.

“They are breaking up into teams of two to deliver the food bags to different families there,” Ross said. “There’s at least eight women here to help. Doesn’t look like selfishness to me.”

Gov. Bevin has called teachers, retirees and public employees selfish, ignorant with a “thug mentality,” as they protested against the Republican majority’s push to destroy public pensions, public education and the public workforce in Kentucky.

By Friday morning, those selfish teachers and public employees had started the day thinking and acting on behalf of their students when numerous districts called school off.

The Family Resource and Youth Services Center employee at the school had sorted bags, developed a list of addresses and started coordinating with teachers and volunteers to make sure students who had planned on attending school still received lunch.

When asked why Ross didn’t come to Frankfort, her answer was simple.

“I think we all have our purposes to serve,” Ross said. “I thought I could be more useful here. Monday is when I plan to go to Frankfort.”

Before 9:30 a.m., volunteers from Tates Creek Elementary, Breckinridge, Picadome and The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary had gathered to help.

Once they knew school was out, public employees and teachers at Crawford Middle School also started putting together food donations and sacking lunches for students.

“We need any food donations as we are going in to pack lunches,” said eighth-grade social studies teacher Sara Green. “We have many kids in the neighborhood who will be walking to the school for lunch.”

Green said she decided to go to school today as this “fight is first and foremost about our communities and our students.”

Eighth-grade teacher Sara Green, center right, stands with several of her students at Crawford Middle School in Lexington where she teaches social studies.

“It’s about having a viable public education in the future. I decided to stay behind and help my community because this is why I do what I do every day,” Green said. “I teach and I advocate on behalf of my students each and every day as do thousands of teachers across the state.

“It’s important for our community and students to know that while we are out of school today, we are still standing strong for you.”