Over the past few weeks, there have been many protests about various issues that seem to split us right down the middle. However, this week there were some protests that I think we all can get behind.

Every public school in Kentucky was closed on Monday, and most public schools in Oklahoma shut their doors as teachers protested higher salaries and for the government to provide funding to buy classroom materials.

Many protesters were holding up signs with no words, just numbers. Those numbers often were in the thousands and represented how much a teacher had spent out of pocket on classroom materials that year.

When I think back to my education, it’s clear to me just how big of an impact that a few of my teachers had in my life.

In elementary school, some of them would buy me a snack or get the supplies for me to do an arts and craft project. I can think on more than one occasion when someone would forget their lunch money and a teacher would cover the bill. In high school, many of my teachers shaped my whole worldview and taught me the skills I would need to make it in higher education and ultimately how to land a job.

It was always baffling to me how big of an impact our educators have on shaping our lives, yet many of them have the lowest salaries of any profession. I’m glad that teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma are finally taking a stand.

According to NBC, some districts in Oklahoma have math books and desks that are 20-years-old and held together with duct tape. This is unacceptable, especially in America.

The vast majority of our tax dollars are wasted on inefficient programs that have raised our national debt to over $21 trillion.

When it comes to educators, the ones that are impacting our future generations, we simply can’t afford not to do anything. To help your teachers, call a state representative or congressperson. Urge them to vote for teachers.