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Edison Student Fed Up With Classmates’ Behavior

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

News On 6 has been following several different issues that have surfaced at Edison Preparatory school and now a student is standing up and saying enough is enough.

2/7/2018 Related Story: Tulsa Mother Speaks Out After She Says Son Was Punched By Teacher

He said he wants to learn but sometimes it's difficult for the teachers to teach with all of the distractions going on in the classroom.

"I find it infuriating when someone is trying to make a hard job for someone even harder," said Lukacs Acker, “I think being a teacher is the hardest job in this city right now.” 
 
Lukacs Acker is a 7th grader at Edison who said he's asked to be moved out of a few of his classes because it's difficult to get things done. He said the teachers are doing everything they can to keep things on track but some days his classmates make it impossible.

"Sometimes students will be messing around and they will pretend like they are the head of the class,” said Acker. “It happens on a regular basis.” 

And it’s not just happening at Edison. Teachers all across the district have been dealing with many different situations like students talking back, swearing, and even throwing things across the room. 

"It doesn't seem to matter North, South, East or West, socioeconomic, or grade level.” Said TCTA Vice President, Shawna Mott-Wright. “We've had a huge surge of issues this year." 

Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association Vice President Shawna Mott-Wright said she has taken calls from several teachers all across the district and many of them are dealing with the same issues. 

"Teachers are following the protocol and are still waiting for half an hour and no one comes, no one responds," said Mott-Wright. 

The Behavioral Response Plan that TPS follows helps teachers and administrators code the issue at hand. In an interview with Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist last week, she explained that they have implemented this new discipline structure so students can understand the problem and make changes for the future. 

They believe it’s powerful to have restorative conversations with students, so they can fully understand what they did wrong. She said these practices are ultimately cutting down on suspensions across the district. But the students and the teachers think there needs to be something stronger in place. 

"Honestly the kids who cause the problems are used to it by now and it isn’t a punishment anymore," said Acker. 

“It needs to be restorative for real,” said Mott-Wright, “if a child comes back with a lollipop and gives me an I’m sorry, is not going to work.” 

Mott-Wright said these practices can be frustrating for the teachers when they feel like no one has their backs and ultimately it’s pushing some teachers over the edge. 

"While I love my brothers and sisters in the police force and the fire department we absolutely are putting our lives on the line every day because you don't know what you are going to get when you walk in," said Mott-Wright.  

"No one in their right mind would give up a job that they need without being driven to the brink," said Acker. 

Acker said he feels for the teachers who are dealing with this and tries to stand up for them when he can because, in the end, it’s taking away from the kids who actually want to be there. 

“These kids will like make a whole big issue and the teacher can't just ignore it because it’s stopping the other kids in the class from learning," said Acker. 

Mott-Wright said a lot of the issues that they are seeing are coming down to funding and not having staff to fill crucial spots like counselors, nurses and extra administrators to deal with these discipline issues when they come up.

She said she hopes that something can be reached within the legislature to give these overworked teachers some sort of pay raise to make them feel like they matter, because at the end of the day, they are spent and have nothing left to give and future generations of Oklahomans are the ones who will suffer until this problem is solved. 

"These are our kids and they are suffering, and they are growing up and that is our future society," said Mott-Wright, “we need a solution and we need it now.” 

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