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While West Virginia teachers went on strike for nine days to seek higher pay and better benefits, Arizona teachers were discussing their own concerns.

 

One Scottsdale father saw the discussion on social media and believed he could play a “small role.”

ACME Prints, in Phoenix, created affordable shirts to help teachers during the Red For Ed movement.
ACME Prints, in Phoenix, created affordable shirts to help teachers during the Red For Ed movement.
ACME PRINTS/SPECIAL FOR THE REPUBLIC
“In early March, I noticed a tweet from Noah Karvelis, in which he appeared to be trying to get teachers motivated for possible action, said David Bays, 47. “At this time, it was clear to me that he was in the very early stages of trying to rally support with other teachers.”

 

 

 

Karvelis is a teacher and organizer for Arizona Educators United.

David Bays helped Arizona Educators United because he wants his sons to have a good education.
David Bays helped Arizona Educators United because he wants his sons to have a good education.
DAVID BAYS/SPECIAL TO THE REPUBLIC
Bays and his wife, Julie, deeply care about education and stay involved with their school.

 

“Through the years, like many, I have watched education in this state become more of an afterthought rather than a priority,” said Bays. “So I supposed I evolved into an advocate for teachers and students.”

Bays, a former Republican who now identifies as an independent, believes a strong education system is an important factor in recruiting businesses to the state.

“As a concerned parent, I obviously want my kids to have the best education they can get so they can be properly prepared for the next steps in life,” said Bays. “This means we have to invest in our educators and schools.”

#RedForEd’s social media presence

After seeing discussions on social media, Bays thought it was a good time to offer his services. The father of two has a background in marketing and branding.

“I suggested to Noah that I wanted to help create a brand (identity) for them that could coattail off the national attention that West Virginia teachers were getting,” said Bays.

Scottsdale resident David Bays created logos and graphics for Arizona Educators United.
Scottsdale resident David Bays created logos and graphics for Arizona Educators United.
DAVID BAYS/SPECIAL FOR THE REPUBLIC
Bays knew social media could help Arizona teachers with their cause. He noticed Karvelis was using two hashtags, #AZWhatIsThePlan and #RedForEd.

MORE: How the #RedForEd movement is fueling T-shirt sales

Bays believed #RedForEd was fit for the cause.

“This was definitely unique, easy to remember and could be used to build an identity throughout the education community,” said Bays.

Creating the image

Bays felt it was important to incorporate the outline of the state and the #RedForEd hashtag in the group’s logo.

It’s been very rewarding to see that my small contribution has made such a meaningful impact.
DAVID BAYS, CREATOR OF THE #REDFORED LOGO
“The rationale was if this movement actually took off, I knew the logo would be used on T-shirts, stickers, etc., and I wanted everyone directing the conversations and posts to a single channel to promote consistency,” said Bays in an email to The Arizona Republic.

 

Another popular image features a raised fist holding an apple with the Arizona state flag and outline in the background. A teacher asked Bays if he could combine the image of the hand and apple with the Arizona state flag.

The raised fist is a symbol that is synonymous with oppressed groups and social causes across the world, and first became popular in the late 1940s.

Shirts and other merchandise with the group’s logos can be found in a variety of places, including Amazon. Bays doesn’t have a problem with it as long as it is bringing awareness to the teachers.

“It’s been very rewarding to see that my small contribution has made such a meaningful impact,” said Bays.