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Massive teachers strike converges at Capitol with mixture of determination, humor

M. Tim Blake / Red Dirt Report
This Deadhead, Bryan Dearing, reminds rally attendees that he is also a teacher helping mold future voters and engaged and informed citizens.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Raising their voices and holding clever-and-poignant protest signs, Oklahoma public school teachers were among the tens of thousands of people who rallied at the Oklahoma State Capitol Monday demanding higher pay and increased funding for ailing schools across the state.

The walkout, which began today and follows a similar walkout by West Virginia teachers, is expected to stretch into Tuesday and possibly beyond. As has been noted, many Oklahoma public school teachers are among the lowest paid in America and have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

In fact, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has reported that Oklahoma has led the county in cuts to public education for the past four years, while public schools get by with little, including outdated textbooks, and many are resorting to four-day school weeks.

These working-class teachers, here in a deep-red state like Oklahoma, are among a growing wave of rebellion in Republican-controlled states where public education is often found on the chopping block, while corporations are given lavish tax incentives in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Oklahoma's public school teachers are clearly fed up with the status quo in the Sooner State.

Among the signs seen at the rally, one of the biggest in Oklahoma’s history, the message from these educators was crystal clear:

HONK IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THANK A TEACHER.”

“OKLAHOMA EDUCATION IS NOT O.K.”

“OKLAHOMA STUDENTS DESERVE MORE.”

“IF YOU FRACK GIVE SOME BACK.”

“TEACHING SHOULDN’T BE A DEBT SENTENCE.”

“MAYBE THE LEGISLATORS NEED A LESSON PLAN.”

Red Dirt Report's M. Tim Blake was at the State Capitol and took a series of photos of the rally attendees, who participated with a mixture of humor and determination. It is not entirely clear if the State Legislature is paying attention, however. 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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