Bartlesville Teacher's Role In The Genesis Of Upcoming Walkout
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma - For many teachers, a walkout has been a long time coming.
In Bartlesville, one teacher took on the challenge and is helping her district and others plan for the possibility.
Heather Boyle teaches first grade at Wayside Elementary in Bartlesville.
Boyle has spent months preparing for a pending teacher walkout. Now she is helping other districts do the same as momentum builds.
"For the last several years, we have been thinking something needs to happen if change doesn't occur," said Boyle.
The cuts continued, class sizes increased, and teacher pay stagnated.
In September, Bartlesville Public Schools administration brought up whether discussions of a walkout needed to happen.
"I said absolutely,” stated Boyle, “and he sent a letter at that point to kind of gauge interest from other school districts."
Second grade teacher Gail Stone says the district "really needed someone to get us started and she (Boyle) really took that role on without a second thought."
The response from other districts was affirmative, but it was still early in the school year. They started planning community meetings and, Boyle says, that's when everyone started asking what they could do to help.
Churches have offered childcare and donations are flowing in to help feed the students if the walkout occurs.
"We hope it doesn't happen and we're planning for something you don't want to occur,” said Boyle. “When and if it happens on April 2nd, our community is ready."
"It hasn't been an overnight thing,” stated Stone. “For ten years, they have been trying to fund education and they've never found a way. So, it's not like we just woke up one day and decided to have this happen."