TPS Special Meeting Evaluates Its Response To Walkout, Next Steps

Monday, April 9th 2018, 10:10 pm
By: Justin Shrair

As the walkout continues, TPS is evaluating its response to the walkout and what’s next when it ends.

Students, parents, teachers, and others packed into the school board meeting on Monday.

From information about meal services to resources for families, a wide variety of topics were up for discussion.

“There’s some pretty magical things happening and it’s awesome to watch,” said superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist.  “It’s a community coming together in a really significant way to say public education matters.”

Officials talked about what educators have accomplished so far, the types of resources available to families, and how the school calendar could be affected.

Complete Coverage:  School Shutdown

Kendall-Whittier teacher Rita Ballew has spent 18 years inside her Tulsa classroom.

Ballew says, “I think that the community is behind the teachers and I think the teachers need to continue to fight for our students.”

Many teachers say this is just the beginning.  Others say they are impressed with the outside support many organizations are offering, like help from the Tulsa Area United Way and the YMCA.

Ballew says, “as a classroom teacher that has spent all of her extra money over the years on things for my students, it actually makes me feel appreciated at this time.”

Carrie Hefton, a teacher at Wright Elementary, says “it makes me feel so blessed to be in Oklahoma, to be an Oklahoman with everybody supporting us.”

As the school board reaffirmed its support for educators, Gist said teachers must continue to stand united.

“This can’t just be something that happens in this legislative session,” stated Gist.  “We need to have this conversation next year, next year, and the next year.”

TPS is still figuring out how, specifically, they are going to make up the days missed.