Union Public School Board votes unanimously to support walkout if OK legislature doesn't act

Posted: 9:23 PM, Mar 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-13 11:06:46-04

TULSA - Union Public Schools was one of many Green Country school districts who voted to participate in the statewide teacher walkout Monday should the Oklahoma legislature not act by April 2. 

Union teachers, parents, students and staff all faced their district's board of education. 

“If things don’t change on April 2nd I will be walking out," said 6th Grade Union Teacher Jennifer Steen. 

Each speaker looked the president in the eye. 

 “Please know that every teacher that I teach with does not want to walk out. We want to be in the classroom," said 11- year Union Music Teacher Sam Loney. 

On its agenda the board was faced with a decision to allow its teacher to walkout or not. 

“If we’re not at the table, we’re on the menu," said 14-year Union Teacher and Parent Brendan Jarvis. 

Many said they work second jobs, are single parents or just deserve more. 

“To be a teacher in Oklahoma you are just expected to be poor," Steen said. 

Students told the board what it's like in overcrowded classrooms. 

“Sometimes I will have a question and it doesn’t get answered because we will run out of time," said Union Student Audrey Rhodes. 

One teacher was overwhelmed. 

“Our state, my state, doesn’t value our children and their futures," cried 10-year Union Teacher Anita Winn. 

After more than 20 speakers, laughs, tears and applause the board voted unanimously to give the president authority to cancel school for the walkout. 

Union's board president said as far as length of time for the walkout, he's prepared for anything from 25 days to indefinitely. 

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