Some Families, Teachers Voice Opposition To Walkout
OKLAHOMA CITY - Not everyone has been on board with the teacher walkout. Parents, students and even some teachers are now speaking out against the protest. Their main concern is the timing of it all.
During the month of April, students are supposed to be testing as well as preparing to advance to the next level of their education. These families say the walkout has been putting all of that in jeopardy.
After a week and a half out of class, Matthew Culp says the information he is supposed to be learning at Deer Creek Intermediate School is starting to slip away.
“It’s not easy to keep remembering those things if I’m not doing the work and I’m not in school,” Culp says.
Culp has been attending Coffee Creek Church's camp with his siblings, where volunteers provide some work for the kids, but it is not the same curriculum.
Stacy Yeager tried and failed to keep her daughter Abigayle and her friend Amber up to speed on their schoolwork. She says, “They were not able to retrieve their books, so right now I’m trying to scramble to find worksheets and things like that online to keep them busy.”
Yeager is now considering charter school for Abigayle next year due to impact of the walkout.
Culp believes at this point, teachers have walked out on the kids and are interrupting plans for the families they serve. He says, “I just think that they should be able to do it at a later time, when there’s more time to do it, like the summer.”
Culp voiced his concerns to the Deer Creek school board Monday night. Despite the strides being made in the legislature, his mother Paula Cobb believes the funding will not all end up in the hands of schools.
Cobb wants class to resume while teachers wait for more concrete budget solutions for their concerns. “It has nothing to do with being anti-teacher, anti-education,” she says. “My children aren’t just the future, they’re also the present, and right now they’re losing information and they’re being declined their education by the teachers not being in the classroom.”
Cobb created the Facebook page “End The Oklahoma Walk-Out” after being contacted by one of her son’s teachers, who also disagrees with the walkout but fears being ostracized by her colleagues. In an anonymous statement, the teacher writes, “Could Oklahoma students use even more funding for education, sure! So could health care, roads, etc. The problem is that no one is keeping close tabs on how our current funding is being spent. Who’s to say the money is even going towards the things teachers so desperately need. We need accountability.”
The teacher suggests, “Maybe instead of buying teachers who are down at the Capitol food and shirts and gas cards you could make a donation to their classroom. Write your local school a check. Give a teacher you trust a Walmart gift card to buy supplies with. Stop prolonging this walkout when you could be making a real difference in a child’s school with your donation.”
With more and more districts announcing plans to return to class, though, the end of the walkout could be coming soon.