TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma teacher posted an emotional picture to send a clear message to lawmakers at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Denita White, a first grade teacher at Greenwood Leadership Academy, posted a photo of a child crying in her lap. She said the photo was taken on the last day of school before the teacher walkout.
“Today, I had to send home a letter to parents explaining how I will always be on their side and how much I love their kids and will always advocate for them. Today, I realized that this is it. This is the moment that we’ve been forced to come to,” she wrote.
White says that she has been a teacher in Oklahoma since 2014, and is disheartened about the lack of funding for her classroom.
“As I sit here on a chair that’s broken and has already put a hole in my tights, I think about the 1st year where my class size was rostered for 29 students. I had 25 desks and 21 chairs. There was no money to buy more chairs or desks for that matter. I didn’t have enough curriculum materials for my 29 kids. I called my mom crying, upset because I was making spots for kids to sit at my small group table with stools that I purchased from IKEA- sad because they would be sitting separately from my other students. Sad because I was going to have to make copies of the workbooks for them so that they could learn and participate in my lessons. Sad because there was nothing I could do,” she wrote.
White says her students don’t fully grasp what is happening, but were extremely upset that they didn’t know when school would be back in session.
“I told her I loved her, I told her it was OK and I said I’m doing this for you,” White told KJRH.
GLA’s Principal Kojo Asamoa-Caesar said made the following statement:
“Teachers like Ms. White are why the education profession should be respected and elevated to the vaunted position it deserves.”