Jenks Public Schools Support Staff Feeling Effects Of Walkout
JENKS, Oklahoma - Jenks Public Schools will be out again Monday, which means another day support staff employees won't work.
They didn't earn a paycheck all week and are feeling the impact.
The Jenks Community Food Bank is one place support staff can get some help but that still won't help pay the bills.
A row of Jenks school buses sits in the parking lot for the fifth day in a row without being used.
"We're the first ones that see you in the morning and the last one to see you in the afternoon. We hope everything goes like they need it to for the state,” said Jenks Bus Driver Randy Witt.
Bus drivers like Witt are missing the ride to and from school as well as their paychecks.
"We do miss our kids," Witt said.
"Bills don't stop coming in. But our check did," he added.
"Some people, this is their only source of income," said Jenks Bus Driver Jack McDonald.
"I would do pretty much anything that wasn't illegal right now, to get money," said Bus Aid and Cafeteria Worker Angelia O’Dell
Some employees hope their second jobs will pull them through.
"I also occasionally drive for Uber, so, I'm just doing what I can to try to make ends meet," said Witt.
The support staff workers we spoke with said they support teachers and the walkout but with no clear end in sight, they said it's hard to make long-term plans, like finding another job.
Jenks Public Schools said while support workers aren't being paid now, they will be paid for work done when the school days are made up at the end of the year.
Until then, the Jenks Community Food Bank is doing what it can to alleviate the burden.
"A lot of it was very tough for them, to come and ask for help, but that's why we're here," said Jenks High School Teacher Liz Wright.
Fresh produce, canned food, and other essentials are all available for support staff right now.
The food bank is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00-noon.
"We want them to get back on their feet," said Wright.
The Girl Scouts have a food drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Reasor's in Jenks.
Everything donated will come to the food bank.
If you are interested in donating to the Jenks Community Food Bank, visit this website.