Oklahoma lawmaker apologizes after Facebook video saying he won't vote on teacher measures
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- An Oklahoma lawmaker has apologized after posting a Facebook Live Tuesday saying he won't vote for another measure for education.
"Let me tell you something, I voted for every teacher measure to fund them all last year," said Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-District 12. "It took us a year and a half to pass it. And now, they come into this House, they want to act this way. I'm not voting for another stinking measure when they're acting the way they're acting."
McDugle, who represents Wagoner County and was elected in 2016, quickly deleted the video but not before it was seen by countless people.
"You are losing support of people who have supported you all year long," McDugle said in the video. "All year long, we supported you. And now you're going to come here and act like this after you got a raise? Go right ahead. Be pissed at me if you want to."
The Capitol was filled with teachers and supporters Tuesday on the second day of a statewide teacher walkout. They're calling on lawmakers to restore millions of dollars in cuts to education.
"The mass majority of Oklahomans stand with our teachers," said Nick Mahoney, who is challenging McDugle for his House seat. "As a father of public school students, I want what's best for their education. I want them to have the best teachers, schools and funding possible. For any public figure, especially a state representative to respond the way he did is uncalled for and unprofessional. That's the people's house and should be held as such."
Hours after deleting the first video, McDugle posted another saying he did so because it didn't fully explain what was going on on the House floor. He said the floor was rowdy and he doesn't approve of some of the things being done during the demonstrations.
"We've had death threats at the Capitol, our legislative assistants are not here because of the threats they are receiving," McDugle said in the latest video. "I found out that it's not necessarily Oklahoma teachers that are doing it. But that we've got people here from Chicago and California."
The lawmaker says there's also been vandalism in the parking lot.
"We have done what we can to support teachers," said McDugle. "I will continue. I do apologize that it came across the way that it did. You guys can tell by my heart and by my votes over the last year and a half exactly where I stand with teachers."
McDugle says he believes the protests are backfiring and teachers are losing support.
"We will support teachers, continue to support teachers and the schools in our district," he said. "Each one of the representatives that I've talked to will do the same. But they're also feeling the frustration."