For a second day, teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky will walk out demanding better wages. Thousands rallied on Monday and will continue to do so today, they say, until they get what they deserve.
In Oklahoma, teachers are getting a 15 to 18 percent raise , after Gov. Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation about teacher salaries last week, ABC News reports. However, teachers there say that after 10 years of never seeing a pay increase, that percentage now is not enough.
BREAKING: OKC Public Schools will be CLOSED Tuesday due to teacher walkout. #oklaed #OKleg @NewsOn6
— Amy Slanchik (@amyslanchik) April 2, 2018
“I’m fed up,” Rusty Bradley, a high school technology teacher, told The Washington Post. “I want them to get off their butts and do something.” The Post reports that Bradley has been a teacher for 28 years and has experience lawmakers promising better wages but letting them down in the end.
Some teachers like Rae Lovelace have a second job just to make ends meet, and tells ABC News that if she didn’t have that second job, she’d have to accept food stamps.
Teachers demonstrating on Monday say they were inspired by the teachers in West Virginia, who walked out last month. Teachers from every county in the state walked out for nine days, which meant all schools were closed. And they got their 5 percent raise that they were asking for.
Oklahoma educators making themselves heard at the Oklahoma State Capitol this morning. #Oklaed pic.twitter.com/52DV9xz6KY
— Tom (@tomokc405) April 2, 2018
“Thanks to West Virginia,” teacher Katrina Ruff said to the New York Times. “They gave us the guts to stand up for ourselves.”
Laurissa Kovacs an art teacher at Puterbaugh Middle School tells CBS News that the conditions at her school are so bad that kids can actually get hurt just by sitting down at their chairs.
“The chairs are in awful condition,” Kovacs said to CBS. “They’re broken and they literally hurt the kids to sit down. If you look through the stacks, you can just see how many of the broken areas and cracks that will pinch you and jagged tops.”
Here’s just some scenes from yesterday’s walkouts.
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Today, we as representatives of Stop Plains All American Pipeline, Indigenize OU, and Norman Citizens for Racial Justice rolled out to the Oklahoma State Capitol in solidarity with striking teachers and their students. We demand that big oil pay their fair share in education, raise the GPT to at LEAST 11%. Mary Fallin’s priorities are prisons and protecting oil—not the future of children, teachers, land, or water. End the Oklahoma oligarchy and FUND OUR SCHOOLS! #Oklahomateacherwalkout #oklahomateachers #MaryFailing #resistOK Last post is a video of ACLU legal witnesses filming us as we attempted to leave the capitol as state troopers wanted to “talk” to us after watching us sitting holding our State of Despair banner for over an hour. The state troopers preceded to attempt to “talk” to us without lawful order, took photos of us, and directed other troopers to keep eyes on us.
OUR SIGN GAME IS STRONG HERE IN NORMAN!!! 🍎❤️ #oklaed #oklaedwalkout pic.twitter.com/NAeIrmJxxm
— Dawn Brockman (@dawnbrockman) March 31, 2018