Above Photo: peoplesworld/ Flickr
MOORE, Okla. (KTUL) — Oklahoma teachers are fed up with state lawmakers. A public school teacher in Stillwater created the Facebook group “Oklahoma Teacher Walkout – The Time is Now!” two days ago, and it has already gained more than 20,000 members.
Today, teachers gathered in Moore to discuss the possible statewide strike.
“Frustration levels are high, so a strike is not a touchy word anymore,” said Molly Jaynes, a teacher in Oklahoma City.
“‘Strike’ is a big word, but I think it’s necessary for Oklahoma,” said Chloe Prochaska, a teacher in Mustang.
“We are to the point where we have no other option,” said Heather Reed, a teacher in Oklahoma City.
Fed up with a legislature seemingly mired in quicksand, teachers from Oklahoma City, Mustang and Tulsa, just to name a few, are laying the groundwork for a statewide strike.
“I don’t think we have a choice. How long can we keep sicking out?” said Tulsa teacher Larry Cagle.
“I think we have surpassed the point of conversations, and I don’t think that there’s anything the legislators have provided us recently to give us any sort of hope that they’re going to take actual actions this time,” said Jaynes.
As for when it might take place?
“If we do it the first week of April, that would be during standardized state testing, which would be a great time to say, ‘Hey, we’re going on strike, and we’re not going to give these tests,'” said Prochaska.
One test organizers will face is ensuring that there’s enough participation in order to make a politically strong statement.
“I know of one group that has, it started a couple days ago, and it had a couple hundred and now it has over 20,000, so this is definitely something that seems like it’s going to happen,” said Jaynes.
A storm is on the horizon, with teachers already bracing for possible repercussions.
“If we strike, I double dare you to fire us. We’ll just go to Texas; they’re looking for new teachers,” said Cagle.