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Bartlesville Schools Consider Protest In Push For Pay Raise

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It was standing room only as the Bartlesville School Board met to discuss the possibility of joining a state-wide protest to encourage the legislature to push for a teacher pay raise.

Monday night, the superintendent proposed a suspension of classes to show the legislature that students and teachers can't deal with this situation much longer. 

Back in 1990, many districts, including Bartlesville, participated in a five-day protest to encourage the legislature to vote for a teacher pay raise and school-funding measure.

And they believe it's time to do it again.

"It amazes me how much people genuinely care about our teachers and making this change,” said Bartlesville High School Senior Danielle Pouquette. “This is a big step and this is what needs to be taken." 

Pouquette wants to see change for education in Oklahoma. 

“Teachers here do not teach because they love the pay,” said Pouquette. “They love the students, they love teaching [and] they love expanding our minds. If it wasn't for the teachers I've had, I wouldn't be here today." 

Related Story: Bartlesville Schools Consider Taking A Break To Pressure Lawmakers

Pouquette was joined by several of her classmates who also want to see their teachers given what they are worth.

“Teachers put up with a lot, and it's really sad Oklahoma teachers are the least paid out of all 50 states,” said junior Caroline Waldorf. 

Waldorf’s Mom is a teacher at Central Middle School. She says she sees the workload her mom deals with every day. 

“I'd really just like to see her get the credit that she deserves,” said Waldorf. 

But her mom says she wouldn't be there without the community finally giving teachers a voice. 

“I don't think we would be here without the parent support and the community support that we have,” said Central Middle School eighth grade English teacher Patty Waldorf.

Several students, teachers and community members stood up to tell the board they are fully in support of this movement. 

Many are thrilled that Bartlesville is one of the first districts to work to make this movement a reality. 

"I know that there's not an easy answer to this but something has to be done,” said Central Middle School teacher Andrea Satterfield.

No vote was taken Monday on whether or not to go through with this plan. But several board members say they were very supportive and would like to continue to pursue this further. 

They hope to discuss it more at a special meeting next Wednesday. That meeting isn't set in stone yet but we should know more tomorrow. 

Stick with News On 6 for updates on this developing story. 

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