Oklahoma teachers travel to state Capitol to protest

Public school teachers across Oklahoma made their way to the state Capitol by school bus to march for higher education funding early Monday morning.

Teachers at Longfellow Middle School in Norman, Oklahoma, said their priorities are the students’ learning environment and classroom resources.

Beth Huddleston was concerned about her students’ ability to learn once the weather warms up in Norman. The school does not have the budget to fix the air conditioning in her classroom. According to Huddleston, it can reach 90 degrees inside.

“My kids are already more concerned about the heat in the room than learning what they need to learn,” said Huddleston. “That’s a big concern.”

Jesse Turpin has taught special education at Longfellow, but his daughter is a freshman at Noble High School in Noble, Oklahoma. Noble Public Schools are closed every Friday due to lack of funding.

Teachers board a public-school bus outside Longfellow Middle School in Norman, Oklahoma, on April 2. They joined teachers from districts across the state at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

“My daughter only goes to school four days a week,” said Turpin. “I’m lucky she’s in high school and can be home alone, but she has no choice but to at home on Fridays.”

Teachers plan to continue the state-wide walkout indefinitely.