Western Heights orders teachers back to the classroom
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
Every school district in the Oklahoma City metro is in support of an ongoing teacher walkout with the exception of one.
The board at Western Heights Public Schools ordered teachers back to their classrooms during a meeting Monday evening. On Tuesday, a small group gathered across the street from Western Heights High School to protest.
According to the district, at their eight schools sites teacher attendance ranged from 68 percent to 100 percent. One parent says she was forced to pick up her daughter because teachers were telling her to go home.
"Some of them are telling students that they were expecting to be out for the walkout for the entire week, so they didn't make lesson plans for this week, so they weren't going to be teaching even though they were told to come to school," A parent who asked to not be named told FOX 25.
The order came down from the district's board Monday. All teachers were to return Tuesday or risk facing disciplinary action. The call sparked backlash with supporters outside the Capitol.
"Someone needs to walk for Western Heights teachers," One teacher told FOX 25.
Brent Hodges is a 2001 Western Heights graduate and teacher at Moore Public Schools.
"I just kind of wanted to come out and tell the teachers and the students of Western Heights that we support them." Hodges said. "I know how much in our district how much we want to advocate for our students and I think every teacher feels that way right now...They don't get to do that right now."
Not everyone agrees. Some believe teachers have had the opportunity to make their case. They say they must now return to their classrooms and allow the legislature to do its job.
"In my opinion what kind of message are we sending our kids when you know we say well we want something done this way and if it doesn't happen exactly how we ask for it, we're going to stomp our feet, walk out on our jobs and our responsibilities. What is that telling our kids?" The Western Heights parent told FOX 25.
Western Heights released the following statement to FOX 25:
“Teacher disciplinary action is not our concern at this time. Our efforts are totally focused on serving the students of the Western Heights School District.”