Coaches make a stand with OK teachers

Kelsea Bickerstaff

A man protests for greater education funding outside the Oklahoma Capitol on April 2.

NORMAN – Coaches participated in the Oklahoma teacher walkout to protest for greater education and athletic funding on April 2 at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Budget cuts have been made in high school athletic departments, which has sometime made it necessary for coaches to pay out of pocket or hold multiple fundraisers to purchase athletic necessities. David McGuire, head basketball coach at Duncan High School, said he has had to organize fundraisers to provide basketballs and uniforms for his athletes.

“It limits the things that we can do, and we’re talking basic things,” said McGuire. “There’s things that we need that we’re not able to afford because of these budget cuts.”

McGuire has also been working also a government and U.S. history teacher and said he struggles with supplies in the classroom. U.S. history is a state-tested subject, and it has been difficult for him to educate his students when their textbooks are outdated. He has also had to deal with challenges such as not having enough seating room for students or having to purchase general supplies out-of-pocket.

“In my textbooks, George Bush is a newly elected president and Obama is a new senator, and that’s just in my class,” said McGuire.

While McGuire has been fighting for a raise in the athletic department, his main purpose for participating in the walkout is education.

“For every coach, they’re a teacher first,” said McGuire. “They have the struggles in the classrooms, and then it continues on the athletic field. It’s very important to me that they’re ready for the real world.”