DAY 3: SWOK teachers head into capitol, meet with legislators

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) - Another busy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol as thousands gathered for day three of the state-wide teacher walkout.

Thousands surrounded the capitol while others were stationed inside, maxing out the building's capacity and filling the hall with chants of we're not leaving, do your job and fund our schools.

As those chants echoed through the halls, educators were gathered both inside and outside the capitol hoping to get their messages heard.

"We need all three groups. We need people willing to stand outside and rally and circle and put up their signs make sure the public sees us. We need people willing to come inside and stand around and chant. And then we need those that can stay calm and collected and speak to the representatives and the senators with respect and as the professional that we deserve to be treated as to just let them know exactly what they need to do to fix this," said Donna Cook with Lawton Public Schools.

Teachers from Elgin arrived at the capitol early this morning hoping to meet with legislators. They waited in line several hours planning to sit in on a committee meeting but were told by a staffer, not a legislator, the meeting had been canceled.

"It's extremely frustrating, we're up here trying to do something good, trying to do something for our kids and they're just brushing us off like they're trying to brush us off until we all go home. So it's extremely frustrating," said Elgin teacher Shaylen Garrison.

But, Elgin teacher Sherry Houck said not all of their meetings with legislators have gone poorly.

"Yesterday we talked with Chris Kidd and he opened us up. He talked to four different groups of people from Elgin. He was very personable, he listened to everything, answered questions and didn't rush us out. I think the people in our area that support us have done a great job," Houck said.

Teachers with Duncan Public Schools had a similar meeting with Representative Marcus McEntire and Senator Paul Scott Wednesday morning.

"They are talking with us, they are meeting with us while others aren't. It says something about those individuals and personally, those individuals don't need to be in office if they aren't listening to their constituents," said Duncan teacher Sarah Clifton.

Several teachers said they waited five hours just to get into the gallery. Most of the teachers 7NEWS talked to said they must remain resilient and plan to be out here at the capitol again on Thursday.

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