Teachers willing to stay in OKC indefinitely

Posted at 5:32 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 18:32:01-04

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As the walkout continues into week two, teachers said they are not going anywhere.

No one knows when the walkout will end, but teacher said it is in the legislators' hands.

"In my opinion, as long as they want it to take," Alberto Morejon, a teacher at Stillwater Junior High and creator the popular Facebook group Oklahoma Teacher Walkout - The Time is Now, said. "When they want this thing to end it will end. There’s lots of things they can do to reach the goal."

Some districts said they are prepared to suspend classes for the entire month of April. Teacher said if that is how long it lasts, they are ready.

That is the attitude Melinda Barrett has. She is retiring at the end of this school year after 22 years of teaching preschool at Wilson Elementary in Norman.

The walkout is causing her to miss her last few days in the classroom.

"I’m really not happy about that, but if this is the last thing I do before I retire is to help bring funding to education," Barrett said.

Lucky for Barrett, the PTA at her school has provided her and other teachers with food for the last several days.

"It’s easier to come when you feel valued and we feel valued," Barrett said.

It is all about support for these teachers as they set up camp for an indefinite amount of time.

Morejon started a GoFundMe page to raise money for gas cards for the teachers. Tuesday, he handed out hundreds and still had a line.

"There’s a lot of teachers that message me saying, 'I need help' or 'I won’t be able to go. I can’t afford to drive out there every day,'" Morejon said. "So that’s why I’m trying to do my best to give gas cards to people that need them."

Morejon said he is not worried about losing public support if the walkout continues, because polls show parents are behind the teachers.

"The crowd gets bigger every single day and if it wasn’t getting bigger every single day, I would be worried, but it is," Morejon said. "It shows the support just continues to grow and grow and grow and we are going to be here until they give us what the kids deserve."

He said as long as they stick together, they cannot lose.

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