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Online petition urges FWCS officials to close schools Tuesday for ‘Red for Ed’ rally

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – To close or not to close is a key question that Fort Wayne Community Schools officials are wrestling with in the countdown to a major public education rally.

Thousands of people have signed an online petition, calling for FWCS to cancel classes November 19th.

That’s the day thousands of teachers plan to converge on the Statehouse in Indianapolis for a “Red for Ed” Action Day rally.

At the time of this report, the largest school corporation in the state still planned to hold classes as scheduled, causing frustration for some parents.

A Change.org petition, pushing for FWCS to close schools Tuesday, came up online November 12th, and by mid-afternoon on the 14th, more than 4,700 people had signed.

Sarah Silva, an FWCS alum, whose son graduated from Northrop High School, started the petition drive, convinced the district’s teachers should have the chance to go to the Statehouse rally without having to use a personal day.

“I’m very happy to see that this petition is just taking off, there are new signatures coming every second,” Silva told us.

The “Red for Ed” rally is designed to push state lawmakers for increases in teacher pay, school funding and other changes, such as fewer standardized tests.

Fort Wayne Community Schools for now is not planning to cancel classes the day of the rally.

“I like people speaking up, that’s what this country is all about, that’s what this district is all about,” said FWCS Board Member Steve Corona, who says he’s getting a lot of emails about this dilemma.

“We see both sides, it’s much more complicated than that, but I think in the end, the district is going to make the right decision,” Corona said.

FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson spent part of the day Thursday meeting with school board members and representatives of the district’s teachers union about the school closing issue.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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