"Never Again" Was The Chant Teachers Remember From 1990 Walkout

Monday, April 2nd 2018, 10:06 pm
By: Amy Avery

Several teachers who were here in 1990 are still teaching today.  Back then the phrase that people chanted was "never again."  Many of them say they are sad to be back in this place and they hope that phrase holds true this time around.

Bartlesville High School Counselor Rhonda Layman says “it's not a good feeling to be back here.  Hopefully this time it will actually be a never again.”

Layman participated in the 1990 walkout and says it's sad to see history repeating itself.

“At the time, 1017 seemed like a good solution going forward and, as the years went on, we just got to this point,” said Layman.

Layman is just one of several Oklahomans who protested at the Capitol for the second time.

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Betty Gerber, a retired Broken Arrow teacher, says that “things got better after 1017, but a lot of that got taken away in later years.”

Gerber came out today to support her daughter.

“I thought things would be better for our children,” said Gerber.  “Now my daughter has children and here we are again.”

Thousands of teachers, support staff, parents, and students marched to encourage lawmakers to find a solution.  Some were high school students in 1990 who were fighting for their future and now they are fighting again.

Lisa Dotson, a high school English teacher, says, “I was a senior in high school and I never thought, ‘here we go again in 2018.’”

A lot of teachers have different reasons for being here.  Some are fighting for supplies.

“I'm an art teacher and a lot of my money goes into art supplies at my own school,” said Cheyenne Butcher, from Tulsa Legacy Charter Elementary School.

Others are fighting for class sizes.

Leslie Thomas, an art teacher at East Central High School, says, “I believe we need more funding to bring more teachers into the classroom so we don't have this.”

But, ultimately, all of them say they are fighting for the future of education in Oklahoma.

“These kids need the best education that we can give them, so we need to fund them,” said Dotson.

Many of the teachers say they will be back here again Tuesday and every day until they get the funding that their students deserve.