Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Oklahoma teacher walkout ends, but the fight continues

Oklahoma teacher walkout ends, but the fight continues

Thousands of teachers and education supporters on Friday returned to the Capitol, despite calls by some organizers to end the walkout. Republican leaders said they had no plans to go as high as the $600 million being sought by educators.

Fish is accused of running a fight club during class time at Montville High School. Outside and inside the capitol, teachers held impromptu meetings to discuss how to sustain their walkout next week.

Great Plains Technology Center has remained open to adults and students from local and rural schools despite the teacher walkout that began April 2, but attendance has been down.

The "ball and dice" bill, which allows for Vegas-style gaming like craps and roulette, is projected to generate about $24 million, but Treat said that will go into the 1017 fund for the Senate to appropriate next session for Fiscal Year 2020.

"We blame it on the teachers, and we blame it on this and we blame it on that", Jerden told CNN.

Watson said the party respects and embraces people's right to demonstrate but said vandalism does nothing but diminish the cause they are fighting for.

Royer said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, refused to meet with her. Though the school governing board and the public appear sympathetic to teacher pay concerns, neither would be tolerant of a long shutdown of the expensive public school system.

"Being at the Capitol has really been like beating your head against a brick wall", said Reynolds, the second-grade teacher from Norman.

The demonstration Friday morning had a festival-like atmosphere as teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets. He was also seen moving a trash can to make room for a fight. One school decided buckets of rocks for kids to throw at a gunman made sense while another explored installing literal bomb shelters in classrooms.

Stephanie Ikanovic was one of the teachers at the rally. Police officers are checking IDs of state workers and others entering through the Capitol's alternate entrances.

On a national scale, the Obama administration oversaw the elimination of the jobs of some 300,000 teachers and other school employees and a vast expansion of for-profit charter schools, even as it handed over trillions to bail out the Wall Street banks.

Prior to the walkout, the Legislature passed and Gov. Mary Fallin signed a massive tax hike package to pay for teacher pay raises averaging $6,100 and to put additional dollars in the classroom. Now, for the sake of the most vulnerable, we must focus on transformational reforms. Others will send delegates to talk with lawmakers about increasing funding. She justified selling out the teachers by saying that nothing could be done to oppose the Republican-controlled legislature except to vote in Democrats in November. Now, she added, unions hope to spread the message that conservative policies lead to the school budget cuts that teachers and parents have been protesting.

According to Hall, the 16-inch bats were distributed to each teacher, following an in-service training day on how to respond to school shootings.

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