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Tulsa dad explains teacher crisis in viral video

Posted at 9:20 PM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-31 00:04:21-04

TULSA, Okla. -- A Tulsa dad is fighting for his wife's rights as a teacher in a unique way. James Deming shared his thoughts in a video on Facebook, that's had more than 87,000 views.


"Instead of talking specifically about teachers, I'm going to use the example of a firefighter," Deming said. 


It's different and pretty unique.


"I'm a firefighter and over the last 10 years I have not had a raise," Deming said.


James Deming uses the example of a firefighter instead of a teacher. He is holding a garden hose and asked his son to play alongside him. 


"I needed someone to play the legislature," he said. 


The father two asks the legislature for money. 


"Not only have I not had a raise, I haven't had new equipment either," he said. "Meanwhile, my city has grown by 60,000 people new students in the past 10 years. 60,000 students and I've had no new funding."


But he gets no help.


"Legislature will you help me?" Deming said. "I need a new hose and a raise. Every year I asked for more money for a need and I got less money."


Deming says the new bill is not enough.  


"Education funding has been cut in Oklahoma approximately 28.2% and that's on a per student basis," he said. 


Revisions are already underway on the new bill. 


"Our legislators are having a party because they've provided our teachers a bigger raise and a drinking straw for a fire hose and that is what's wrong with this bill," Deming said. "They've acted like 2-year-olds for the past ten years and they got along for a single day before they started acting like 2-year-olds again."


It's a way to show not only his wife's 16-year-pain and thousands of other teachers across the state.


"Teachers not only need better pay, the need more teachers for smaller class sizes, books, materials, school supplies and this bill doesn't do that," Deming said.


James Deming hopes his video sheds light on a problem that's lasted too long.