By Cynthia McCabe
Thousands of teachers, education support professionals and their supporters gathered Saturday at the Tennessee capitol in Nashville to show their opposition to the anti-teacher, anti-worker legislation that has been filed by state legislators.
They came with the goal of being heard by legislators who have passed, or who plan to pass, the bills removing the voice of educators in Tennessee. As they marched from a nearby park to Legislative Plaza, they cheered, chanted and made those voices heard. (View photos from the rally on the Tennessee Education Association Facebook page.)
Once they arrived at the plaza, they were encouraged to keep up the fight by NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, Tennessee Education Association leaders, legislators and fellow members.
“Plain and simple, this is a political ball game and they want to silence you,” Van Roekel told the thousands gathered. “Are you going to let them silence you,” he asked, drawing a roar from the crowd. (Read Tennessean.com coverage of the event.)
Educators did not march alone Saturday. They were joined by machinists, steel workers, firefighters, students, community members, parents, SEIU and AFL-CIO.
—The Tennessee Education Association contributed to this report.