One Kentucky Teacher's Heartfelt Request For Respect Is Going Viral

"Sometimes it's hard - really hard."

Kentucky principal Gerry Brooks' message confessing that "sometimes it's hard – really hard…" for teachers, has reached over four million people online. The passionate educator, who works at Liberty Elementary School in Lexington, stood with thousands of teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma on Monday in protest of pay cuts, limited benefits, and reduced school funding.  

The demonstrations across the Republican-dominated states were said to be inspired by West Virginia's teacher strike earlier this year, with many speculating with Arizona educators will soon begin to rally too.

In a heartfelt Facebook video, Brooks held multiple signs that, when pieced together, gave a powerful message.

"When I was a child I wanted to be Superman," the first sign read. "Then I realized being Superman was impossible," he continued. "So the next best option was to be an educator! I work daily helping children grow academically and emotionally, and now that I'm an educator, there's still one thing I want to be.... RESPECTED."

The rallies continued Tuesday with at least 234,000 students out of school in Oklahoma as the state's educators held out, hoping for a higher raise than the 5 percent salary increase West Virginia teachers were awarded last month.

In Kentucky, teachers, who are not eligible for Social Security benefits and may face drastic changes if a pension reform bill is signed by Gov. Matt Bevin, are protesting during their spring break. The energy surrounding the demonstrations is said to be stronger than in previous years.

"What I'm seeing in Louisville is teachers are a lot more politically engaged than they were in 2015 or 2016," Andrew Beaver, a middle school math teacher, told The New York Times. "It really is a wildfire."

(H/T: USA Today)

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