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Local Groups Debate Whether "Red for Ed" is a Political Matter

On Tuesday, the NCAE issued a release urging educators across the state to wear red in support of New Hanover County teachers.

The New Hanover County School Board has responded to the recent influx of teachers sporting “Red for Ed” tee shirts with reminders that political messages violate school policy. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that the Board is now receiving letters questioning the constitutionality of this.

Proponents of the “Red for Ed” campaign say the shirts are not political in nature, that they simply allow wearers to express their support for public education. To this end, Rodney Ellis, president of the Raleigh-based North Carolina Association of Educators, or NCAE, issued the School Board a letter yesterday. Don Hayes, president of the Board, has not yet received the letter. He says the Board never specifically banned “Red for Ed” shirts, and that they issued the reminder in response to community concern about teacher walk-ins.

"All we have instructed our central office about is, ‘Please, let the principals be aware that there are policies concerning political activity on campus, and please adhere to those policies.’ That’s all we’ve said."

According to a local NCAE spokesperson, the Board will today be receiving another letter—issued by a local attorney and former ACLU legal director—in defense of “Red for Ed.”