The Stillwater teacher credited with heading up the 2018 teacher walkout has been stripped of his teaching license and faces criminal charges, accused of having inappropriate conversations with a teen. But teachers said the movement he created before his arrest continues.
Alberto Morejon, the Stillwater Junior High School teacher led other teachers in the 2018 walkout at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Last week, Morejon was arrested, accused of having improper conversations with a former student.
Thursday, his teaching license was suspended. When it comes to the movement he spearheaded, Morejon is no longer involved.
“He is not. No. I am the new administrator. The buck stops with me. My goal in all of it now is to unite and bring us together,” said Jamie Cole, the new administrator for Oklahoma Edvocates. “I have at least 200 requests every single day so I haven’t, we haven’t lost members due to it.”
“Oklahoma Teachers, the time is now” has changed its name to “Oklahoma Edvocates,” and still boasts more than 65,000 followers on Facebook. It also has a new direction and less of the *in your face* stance it took during the walkout.
“You’re right. It came out swinging and swinging hard and we eased a lot of power that before we never had. Now I think it’s role is to move to less agitation and agitator and more uniting,” Cole said.
She said she plans to work with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, The Oklahoma Education Association and the legislature to draw more teachers to the state and reduce classroom sizes.
“They all know my face. Whether they like it or not. Whether they like me or not. That’s OK. I’m going to continue to advocate for public education,” Cole said. “There’s power in numbers. And with a group this large, 65,000 plus, we have the power to shape elections.”