Teachers demand shakeup in Oklahoma Education Association leadership

Teachers demand shakeup in Oklahoma Education Association leadership (KTUL)

A Facebook post to the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout page is creating quite the buzz.

It's pretty wordy, but in a nutshell, it's calling for the impeachment of the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) president, Alicia Priest, and Vice President Katherine Bishop.

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The list of reasons is long, but Larry Cagle, a TPS teacher and member of Oklahoma Teachers United, said ending the teacher walkout is a big one.

"The one thing we should have made clear was we're prepared to make it hurt. We should have sent that message, and we didn't," said Cagle.

Oklahoma Teachers United is one of the associations behind the petition.

"This walkout was not successful. It's left us incredibly vulnerable and disappointed," said Cagle.

Cagle said if they don't see a change of leadership within the OEA, they're asking every one of the OEA's 12,000 members to leave the association and join the American Federation of Teachers, effectively crippling the OEA.

"If we can't get rid of the leadership at OEA, then we will just rebuild the state through AFT," said Cagle.

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Shawna Mott-Wright with the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association said she disputes the claim that leadership chose to end the walkout without talking with members of the board.

"I think it's ridiculous and a waste of energy," said Wright. "It's not like Alicia made the decision, or Katherine made the decision. We're a democratic organization; we're member driven, that's not what happened at all. The board was consulted."

But those problems aren't going away, and unless the people behind the petition see change, things could get very messy.

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