By Luke Hall
Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication
Discussion about the statewide education walkout consumed Mark Twain Elementary School in Tulsa on Friday. Staff exchanged comments in passing and students innocently talked about their extended weekend.
Rebecca Harris is the media coordinator at Mark Twain and also serves as the campus representative for the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association. Harris has been an educator in Tulsa Public Schools for 33 years, so this isn’t the first feud between legislators and educators she’s been a part of.
"I was in the first walkout," said Harris. "I felt blessed because we had the class size, the ratio, lowered and I felt like I got a raise then."
Harris continued and said that, to her, it’s not about the raise.
"It’s not because we’re selfish. It’s just because we know that if we don’t do this now, we’ve learned over the last few years we just don’t see any possibility of it happening."
School counselor Sheri Carpenter says she’s spent time this week reassuring her students that teachers aren’t walking out because of them.
"Sometimes they get confused about why the teachers aren’t going to be here and they take it personally," says Carpenter. "We assure them that we’re doing it for their education and for their future."
As for students at Mark Twain Elementary, community volunteers will be hosting the "Beautiful Day" camp that will provide students with activities and education throughout the duration of the walkout.
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