On Wednesday, thousands of Idaho educators, parents, and students took to the streets to protest the passage of Senate Bills 1108 and 1110. Here are some highlights of the extensive media coverage:
The rally in Boise drew an estimated thousand people and extensive media coverage, including a near-full-front-page photo in the Idaho Press-Tribune, accompanied by the headline “Teachers take stand” and this quote, “I think it’s uncertain as to what the future will be” from Kathy Gomez, a 35-year teacher in Caldwell. Here’s a photo gallery from the Idaho Statesman and TV coverage from KTVB and KBOI.
“Teachers are not happy about the passing of the first piece of state superintendent Tom Luna’s education reform bill.Around the state, teachers took to the streets to show their frustration,” reported Local News 8, which had reports from Rexburg, as well as from Pocatello, where the protest doubled as a way for educators to thank their neighbors for passing a school levy on Tuesday.
Here’s a photo from Post Falls, where more than 100 teachers congregated at the major intersection of Seltice Way and Spokane Street to protest (and check out the comment below the photo about the number of teachers out in Lewiston). The Lewiston Tribune website is for subscribers only, but its front page today featured a big story including this call to action from Lewiston Education Association President Bruce Schulz: “This is another opportunity to provide the general public with information about how these bills will impact public education throughout the state of Idaho. We're hoping Gov. Otter's phones and e-mails are flooded with messages encouraging him not to sign these bills into law. I hope he has the courage to stand up for what is right.” Meanwhile, Moscow educators and their allies picketed at the busy intersection near the Palouse Center Mall.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow made several mentions of Idaho in a segment titled “An attack on America’s working class” on her show Wednesday night. (The mentions start at the 6-minute mark of this clip, but it’s worth watching the whole thing.) Maddow and others are making the point that widespread attacks on public employees this winter haven’t happened by accident but are the work of a small, mostly anonymous group of wealthy Americans who are pulling the policy strings in the nation’s statehouses. Other national coverage came from the Politico website.
Reuters covered the protests, including this quote from Idaho Education Association President Sherri Wood: “They believe if you take away the rights of teachers, the union is going to go away. We've been here 119 years and we will continue to be here to fight for our teachers and for our school children.”
Here's a slide show of photos from the Days of Action.