Educators across the state were also asked to wear red as a sign of solidarity, he said.
But not all educators chose to take the walk-in approach. John Steen, a visiting assistant professor at East Carolina University, helped organize a teacher walkout Monday on ECU’s campus.
Steen said about 70 students and faculty came to the protest, which took place during several of the day’s class changes.
“Teachers seem to be neglected by the state,” he said. N.C. ranks 46th in the nation for teacher salaries.
Steen said the emphasis of the rally was to draw a connection between public school teaching in postsecondary education and funding cuts in university departments.
“We wanted to indicate that the state of North Carolina has a strong history of supporting public education and we want to see that continue,” he said.
N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a statement that legislators appreciated First Amendment rights but condemned protesters for engaging in the “bully tactics of an organized union.”
“There is a time and place for everything — our schools are not the place for politics and our children should not be the pawns,” he said.
Still, students have been involved in the conversation about public education.
UNC junior and N.C. Teaching Fellow Julia Hujar is a member of the scholarship’s last class, after the N.C. General Assembly chose not to restore funding in the 2013-15 state budget.
“Unfortunately, with all of the issues in the North Carolina education policy, it makes me wish I could teach in a different state upon graduation,” she said.
Hujar said she showed her support for public education by attending a protest at Durham School of the Arts on Monday.
“I feel that it is important that we as future teachers stand up for our profession and make lawmakers know that we expect to be treated better.”