Checotah Teacher Remembers 1990 Walkout Experience
CHECOTAH, Oklahoma - Teachers across the state are preparing for a state-wide walk out over a pay raise.
News on 6 spoke to a teacher who participated in the last strike in 1990 and is ready to do it again.
Checotah teacher Mr. Lawrence Lane is one of thousands of teachers across the state who is continuing to fight for what they believe in. But after the walkout in 1990, he never thought he would have to do it again.
“We felt like we were being treated like tall children almost similar to how we are being treated now,” Lane said.
Lane has been teaching for 38 years but remembers that day like it was yesterday.
He spends his day teaching 7 straight classes with no planning period.
He works three different jobs to make ends meet.
"What are you not supposed to do on Sunday? Work. But a lot of people work. I have to work at Ross on Sunday's," Lane said.
And even though teachers like Mr. Lane don't get into it for the money, they still want to make a livable wage.
“I've taught 38 years and I still barely make what the average person at quick trip makes,” Lane said.
He even puts a lot of his own money into making each and every student's education better.
"I've been blessed and I've just always wanted to give back and that's why I've stayed in this profession," Lane said.
“He cares about my future and he pushes me to become a better individual,” said Senior Sierra Standridge.
Standridge is a current student of Mr. Lane's and said she's prepared to walk alongside him.
“I'm prepared to fight for their rights because they are treated like second-class citizens,” Standridge said.
“We should care about teachers because without teachers there would be nobody to educate students and students are the future of Oklahoma,” said 7th Grader Rylee Sisson.
“We're the only profession that educates the other professions. Yet we are treated like tall children who have to work multiple jobs,” Lane said.
And that's why Mr. Lane said he's ready to do it again.
“In 38 years I've only missed four days of school so I love being in the classroom. But if I have to walk out per-say on my students for a cause, it's something that I'm ready to do,” Lane said.
The OEA has given the legislature a list of demands and they say if they don't come through by April 2nd, they're walking.