Wagoner County Lawmaker Vows To Continue Support For Teachers
OKLAHOMA CITY - "I'm not voting for another sticking measure when they're acting the way they're acting."
A Facebook Live post from Wagoner County Representative Kevin McDugle is stirring up a lot of controversy that goes beyond social media.
"I had teachers in here all day yesterday saying thank you for everything," McDugle said. "Today we have death threats; we have vandalism in the parking lot."
Teachers in Coweta took to the streets for a second day in a row, pushing for change.
"I won't back down. Tom Petty said it best," said teacher Kyle Cooper. "No, I won't back down."
On Monday, many of these teachers were alongside thousands at the state capitol, talking with lawmakers like District 12 Representative Kevin McDugle about how to move forward.
"They came back with positive news saying they felt like he was the most supportive of our representatives that day," Cooper said.
Which is why so many teachers say they were shocked to see McDugle's first Facebook Live video.
"All year long we supported you and now you're gonna come up here and act like this after you got a raise?" the representative asked.
"It seemed angry, and he seemed a little hostile, but we aren't angry and we aren't hostile," said teacher Shelby Joiner.
"It's kind of heartbreaking to hear someone say that about us and how we are acting," said teacher Ashlea Eischen. "We want what is best for our students in our class, our own children."
After the video was posted and eventually deleted, teachers lined up at the representative's office, covering his door in handwritten notes. Then McDugle posted a second video apologizing for the way the first video came across.
He spoke to News On 6 a little later.
"I've always supported the teachers, I want to continue to support the teachers, but I am aggravated by some of the things that are happening up here," he said. "It's not the way you get things done."
McDugle says he learned after posting that first video that Oklahoma teachers were not responsible for the behavior he mentioned. Both videos are now gone from McDugle's Facebook page.
He told us he will definitely support teachers moving forward.
The teachers I talked to say, until lawmakers can understand their realities, nothing will change.