Low rain chances in the forecast before the heat dome moves in

Teachers rally for second day at state capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY - "Boom! Make way! Teachers are here to stay!" chanted Enid teachers as they waited in a long line to get into the state capitol.

The capitol reached capacity a little after 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"We're just standing here. We've been waiting in line for over an hour," said Laura Coulter, a Bartlesville teacher.

One teacher resorted to knocking on the door that was closed to them to find out why they couldn't get in.

"We've been ordered by the fire marshal to close it down for right now," a capitol security guard told her.

"It's hard on them. It's hard on us," said Putnam City teacher, Marie Page. "People think we`re greedy and we`re not. And they think it's all about our raise and it's not. It's about our classroom sizes, it's about our kids. We have broken chairs I'd just like them to come sit in."

Some Norman band teachers played their instruments for the crowd to keep spirits high.

"This is how we can spread joy and spread energy and spread our message and keep everybody pumped up," said Joel Deardorf.

"They are hoping to wait us out. They are hoping we go away without a deal. Are we going away? No!" said the president of the Oklahoma Education Association, Alicia Priest.

Teachers sent the message that they are quite literally camping out.

"We brought an ottoman out, we brought a table, pictures of my children, a little bit of a library, some reading for some of legislators, some hot topics that they have, lesson plans. We brought everything out here we need to make a home away from home," said Moore teacher, Kortni Torralba. "Thank you for the pay raises. And I am appreciative, but it doesn't do any good to pay a crew if you're not going to fund the ship. It's going to sink. You have to buy the supplies. You need what you need to get the journey done. And until they give us that, we're not leaving."

Other teachers were taking turns walking the picket line.

"Ten teachers out right now. They're doing a lap with their signs. They'll come back, sit, the rest of us will go and walk," said Norman teacher, Courtney St. Clair.

"It's shenanigans once again. They have let their staff go because we`re just too mean," said Priest towards the end of the day.

She expressed displeasure with some lawmakers saying some are listening, while others are only providing lip service and telling them to go back to the classroom.

"We're not going to have it. We're not going to have it. We're going to keep shutting down schools. We're going to keep coming up here advocating for our students and ourselves because that's the right thing to do!" said Priest.

Some teachers were also upset after being asked to the leave the gallery for being disruptive while the House was in session.

"We're more than happy to get thrown out. Look, if you don't get loud and you don't get rowdy in that house, you don't get heard. And so if you're willing to listen to us and sit down and talk. Well, hey, we're all about that. But if you're not going to listen, we're going to make sure we're heard," said Larry Cagle with Oklahoma Teachers United.

‚ÄčThe House announced they would not be back in session until 3:00 p.m. Wednesday - but the Oklahoma Education Association said that doesn't change their plans.

"We will not back down and we will not let a put off until 3:00 start time deter us from what our message is and that is fund our schools!" said Priest.