Lawton staff members participate in teacher walkout

Lawton staff members participate in teacher walkout
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Because of the statewide teacher walkout Lawton Public School's decided to suspend classes on Tuesday. Students and staff were already scheduled to be off Monday for Easter, but the decision to close Tuesday came after poll results from teachers and support staff.

"It should be closed until they give these kids what they need," said Victoria Claflin, Personal Care Assistant at Central Middle School. "We should not have to ask for computers and textbooks and toilet paper. I mean it should be an automatic funding every single year in the budget. It's that simple."

"This goes beyond a pay raise we want equipment to be up to date," said Helene Prince, TA at Central Middle School. "We want the material to be up to date for our students."

Claflin and Prince were part of thousands of supporters that chose to voice their demands at the teacher walkout.

Prince said she plans to go back out to the state capitol tomorrow to fight for funding to meet the needs of the students.

"Somebody has to go out and let our voices be heard from all the teachers, the support staff and for the student and everybody that works for the school system," said Prince.

Lack of materials and supplies was the complaint of many others at the walkout, however, Prince said the walkout hits home for her as a teacher's assistant for special education students that already have a harder time in the classroom.

"Sometimes when it rains we have rain coming into the building," said Prince. "It's just not a good site knowing that equipment is not up to date and the buildings are not up to date. And on top of that the teachers that are coming to instruct the student are not being well paid."

As for Claflin, she believes their demands should be a no-brainer for state leaders and Prince feels they shouldn't give up until they're heard.

"I mean it's money for education," said Claflin. "I mean we shouldn't have to be demanding for it. It should be automatically given to the kids."

"We still want people to come out," said Prince. "The more we come out the louder it will get for the legislators to hear. Everybody coming out speaking on things that need to change and what is being needed from them, which is funding education."

For the LPS school district, Monday will be made up on Friday, May 4.

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