BIXBY, Okla. -- Seven months after the walkout, teachers are reminding voters of the weight a ballot can carry this election season.
"Hanging onto that engagement that we had during the walkout and translating that energy into the election season, which I think we've really been able to do. We have lots of teachers that are supporting candidates on both sides of the aisle," Bixby North Intermediate teacher Jessica Jernegan said.
Educators tell 2 Works for You they believe the legislature can make progress this next season, and they feel supported as coworkers run for office.
"I think they're the only ones that truly understand what kids and teachers need. We've got to have the perspective in that capitol building of people who have been in the classroom, been in the trenches, and understand the needs of teachers and kids," Jernegan said.
Teachers said they're encouraged to see more candidates talking about education. Now they're hoping people will vote for issues like funding in the classroom.
"The need is definitely more teachers. We've got to get our class sizes down and in addition to that we've got to be able to provide more wraparound services for our kids in terms of mental health, counseling, and really making sure we're meeting the needs of the whole child," Jernegan said.
Educators have spent the last few weeks reminding people of their voting location and candidates who are voicing commitment to the classroom. Those we spoke with said high registration numbers make them feel hopeful.
"Myself and other teachers want to make sure we did everything we could to improve the state and not leave anything on the table. If you aren't out there helping education candidates, you can't complain when the legislature doesn't back us up," Union 6th/7th Grade Center teacher Brendan Jarvis said.
As far as another walkout, these teachers said it all depends on the election. However, they're staying optimistic.
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