TPS School Board Unanimously Votes To Support Teachers If Walkout Occurs

Monday, March 12th 2018, 9:22 pm
By: Amy Avery

Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to support the teachers in any way they can.

They say they hope it doesn’t have to come to a walkout, but they are prepared to shut down schools if it does.

On Monday, teachers began working to their contracts – and no more.

Second Grade Spanish teacher Victoria Blaylock left the classroom for a few years, but decided to come back when her son didn't have a teacher two days before school.

“If it was your child, you would want someone to jump in for them too,” said Blaylock.  “They were really short on teachers so I knew there was a hole that needed to be filled and I did it.”

Blaylock was one of several Eisenhower International School teachers who walked out together Monday, exactly 7 hours and 50 minutes after they walked in.

Cesar Garcia-Morales, 3rd Grade Spanish Teacher, says “it was weird to leave the building at this time altogether because there are always people working.”

“We will keep doing our best for the children,” said Anne-Marie Lawson, 2nd Grade Spanish Teacher.  “We will keep the level of education up, but we will have to improvise because we are used to that extra time.”

3/12/2018 Related Story:  TPS 'Work To Contract' Protest Hopes To Put Pressure On State Legislature

Support for the teachers is coming from everywhere, including students and their parents.

Madeline Heath, Eisenhower International School parent says “we want money for our school systems so our kids don't suffer long term.  I'll take the short term inconvenience for the long term benefit.”

Eisenhower teachers weren't alone in working their contracts – these walkouts happened across the district today as a show of solidarity among educators.

Second Grade teacher Ericka Davis says “we came in together unified at 7:15 this morning, and we all left together at 3:00 without any bags - just my purse!”

And now the teachers know the entire school board is behind them.

“I wouldn't trade my administrators for the world,” said Davis.  “They're saying we support you guys and whatever we can do to support you.  We are here for you guys.”

With Monday’s resolution, the TPS Board of Education says they are urging the legislature to work urgently on behalf of the children and families in Oklahoma to come up with a solution so they don’t have to walk out.