INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A national movement is making major waves in Indianapolis as the Indiana State Teachers Association is just hours away from hosting its largest rally.
State police are taking steps to keep thousands of teachers safe as they say public safety is first and foremost.
“We want them to be safe. We want them to feel safe while they’re exercising their first amendment rights,” said First Sergeant Ron Galaviz of the Indiana State Police.
With more than 12,000 people expected to fill the south lawn of the statehouse, Galaviz says proper steps have been taken.
“People in our planning section have been working very closely with the IDOA, with capitol police and also with Indianapolis Metro along with Indianapolis Fire and Indianapolis EMS,” Galaviz explained.
Extra officers will be on duty to make sure the rally goes smoothly, and Galaviz says getting around will be one of the biggest concerns.
“Number one are traffic, both pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic, so the thing that we are asking people to do is plan accordingly, especially if you’re coming as a group on a bus, or you plan on carpooling or even coming down in a line of vehicles,” said Galaviz.
While teachers plan to rally outside, there are policies in place if you head indoors, like the number of people allowed in the statehouse. There will be security at all public entrances. Plus, police can restrict loud and excessive noise.
“We’re going to be working very closely with the State Fire Marshal’s office and keeping track on those things. As you know, again, there’s going to be a lot of things that play a key [role] in how many people show up tomorrow,” said Galaviz.
The teachers are rallying for the Red for Ed Action Day. The focus is on teacher pay and removing the impact that standardized tests have on pay. Teachers also want to get rid of the professional development requirement.
“The future of Indiana depends on it, and they see the future of Indiana each and every day in their classroom,” said Keith Gambill, the president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.
While thousands of teachers make their voices heard, police say act safely.
“If they see something, please tell somebody, because again, that public safety component is the biggest piece that we’re interested in,” said Galaviz.
Red for Ed Action Day rally is set to start Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Click here to view a list of the school districts who have canceled class or scheduled an e-learning day.
To view policies at the Indiana Government Center campus ahead of the rally, click here.