A conversation has popped up questioning our choice of color, red, for Tuesday's showing of support for public education. It seems that some are concerned because red is the color that Tea-Partiers and Republicans wear. They are afraid that when Rick Scott looks out at a sea of red on Tuesday as he is being inaugurated as Florida's newest governor, he and the news cameras will see nothing but support. I understand this argument but do not agree with it.
First, why should we let those who disagree with our views control what color we wear to voice our opinion? Haven't we let others do the talking for us for far too long? Haven't they been able to pick the colors, the policies, the laws, and the newspaper headlines long enough? I, for one, am tired of letting others make my decisions for me. It is time that normal, red-blooded Americans take back this country, and I see no better place to start than with the color red. Why should "they" get it? Because "they" say so? Because the media says so? Because history says so? I say it's time to rewrite history.
Red is the color my skin turns when I see reforms put into place that punish teachers and hurt students . Red is the color I bleed when injured, and right now I feel as if I've been being injured again and again as a teacher, a parent, and a citizen. When I see red I stop, just as those currently making the decisions about public education need to stop destroying it and stop leaving common Americans out of the decision-making process. Red is one of the colors I see when I look at our nation's flag and wonder, will there come a day when I am no longer proud to be an American? When party lines decide what color I will wear to support my cause, when public education turns into something that no teacher with morals can remain a part of, when being an American means doing what you're told instead of telling our government there's a better way to do it?
Red can stand for many things, some of which I would proudly stand to support and others which I would earnestly stand to argue against. Red can stand for many things because red is just a color. I, on the other hand, can only stand for what I believe in because I am a person. But I am just one person, and it will take many more to stand with me on January 4th and beyond to say we believe in public education, that it can be saved by fairly funding all schools instead of just some, that it can be saved by including all opinions instead of just a select few, that it can be saved by returning it to the public and letting us decide what is best for our children instead of laws being made that require teachers to teach to a test instead of to their students.
So I ask that you stand with me across America on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 wearing your brightest red and exclaiming in your strongest voices, "We support public education because we support ALL of America, the red, the white, and the blue!"