Teachers striking back at Oklahoma legislature

(KOKH/Anthony West)

Oklahoma teachers have had enough, and they're taking a stand to prove it. They've created a movement that is gaining momentum both on and off social media.

"We're to a point where there's no other option,” said Heather Reed, a teacher and representative for Oklahoma Teachers United. “That they're not taking us seriously. And so, we feel like this is the only choice that we have right now."

Reed and thousands of other teachers from districts across the state say they're ready to walk out of their classrooms, if state lawmakers refuse to act. And they’re not only calling for action on teacher pay.

"Our class sizes are getting bigger. Funding is getting dropped. Things keep happening that makes it harder and harder to be a teacher and enjoy the job,” Reed said.

In the five years Reed has been a teacher in Oklahoma, she's watched dozens of her colleagues flee the state for a better life. That alone has put districts in a bind.

"Every other state around us is paying their teachers more than Oklahoma is,” Reed said. “So, it's easy for them to be like, ‘You know what, hey, I can't live here as a teacher.’ A single person can't live on a teacher salary here in Oklahoma without having multiple jobs."

Reed says walkout dates have been tentatively set for Tulsa and OKC. Each gives lawmakers a few more weeks to pull together.

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