Tulsa teacher's post ahead of walkout puts budget issues into perspective

Posted at 9:02 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 23:19:49-04

TULSA - Friday a first grade teacher at the Greenwood Leadership Academy posted a photo that broke her heart. 

“This is a picture of one of my students crying in my lap,” the post started. 

“That day was a very sad day for me,” said GLA Founding 1st Grade Teacher Denita White. 

She wrote an open letter on Facebook Friday inspired by the raw emotion of her first graders. 

“I’ve come to this moment where I have to look at my kids and say we’re not coming back to school tomorrow,” she said. 

“This is the moment we’ve been forced to come to,” the post continued. 

“When kids like really realize, ‘What Ms. White we’re not going to see you?’ And to have a little girl sit in my lap and cry, it was just disheartening. So I’m like I have to share this story.”

It resonated with almost four thousand people, educators and parents around the country. 

“I’m not being dramatic as a teacher, kids aren’t being dramatic in what they feel and it’s just important that people realize this is real.”

That why she and other instructors from Tulsa made the trek to OKC to pay their legislators a visit. 

“One thing I want our students to understand is change can happen when you organize and people work together to provoke the change you’re looking for,” said GLA Founding  Behaviorist T’Erra Estes. 

They hope their GLA scholars are watching. 

“We don’t want them to have to fight this same battle, we want to be able to have this battle and win for them,” said GLA Founding Director of Operations Ebony Easiley. 

While Ms. White may have the image of her first graders etched her mind, what’s more important for her is the image of properly funded education in Oklahoma for years to come. 

“I told her I loved her, I told her it was ok and I said I’m doing this for you,” Ms. White said. 

You can view the original post here

GLA's Principal Kojo Asamoa-Caesar said made the following statement: 

“Teachers like Ms. White are why the education profession should be respected and elevated to the vaunted position it deserves.”

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