Education

What Is #RedforED? Behind the Hashtag That’s All the Rage in Teacher Strikes

By Daarel Burnette II — May 03, 2018 1 min read

What do you call a grassroots movement that was organized on Facebook, has jumped five state lines, and made itself a force in the push to win pay increases for tens of thousands of teachers across the nation?

Increasingly, that movement has taken on the banner (and social media hashtag) of #RedforEd, though some groups use Red for Ed without hashtags. While this phrase isn’t unique to any particular state or group it’s especially caught fire with this latest round of teacher protests.

In Colorado and Arizona in particular, where grievances over teacher pay have led to strikes, walkouts, and protests, activists embraced the label of #RedforEd. And they have demonstrated with signs that don’t have the hashtag, too. They have turned out in the thousands at state capitals, in town centers, and in front of schools decked in bright red shirts and holding bright red signs listing their demands.

In the last month alone, #RedforEd has been tweeted about by influencers more than 5,500 times, according to CrowdTangle.

VIDEO: The passion and desperation jumps from the screen. I've edited a small sample. "Schools have to choose whether to give students subs all year or put 50 kids in one room with me." Teachers tell #RedForEd stories to AZ House Appropriations Committee. #12News pic.twitter.com/kty3qWrvbV — JOE DANA (@JoeDanaReports) May 2, 2018

That’s not to say there hasn’t been some pushback. A few weeks ago, Jasper Nichols, an Arizona resident opposed to the teacher protests, tried to trademark #RedforEd with Arizona’s Secretary of State in order to stop local businesses from printing paraphernalia for the protesting teachers, according to local media reports.

“All this campaign is, is to change the elections, the primaries, the elections in November,” said Nichols. He said he’s going to file a lawsuit in court but many legal experts in the state say his argument won’t hold up.

And, as noted, the term isn’t exclusive to the latest round of teacher activism. A foundation in Florida used Red for Ed as part of a fundraising campaign that had little to do with teacher pay but instead raised money for food and school supplies.

Still, #RedforEd—at least the social media label—seems to be following in the footsteps of other hashtag movements including #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo and #NeverAgain.

It remains to be seen if #RedForEd turns out to have the same staying power.

Image: Highland Arts Elementary School kindergarten teacher Melissa Perez participates in a walk-in on April 25 in Mesa, Ariz. —Matt York/AP

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Data Analyst
New York, NY, US
New Visions for Public Schools
Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read