Educators remain solid in resolve during day 7 of Oklahoma teacher walkout

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It’s day seven of the Oklahoma teacher walkout, and the message is not wavering.

“I feel like it’s a waiting game right now,” said Cristy Gosset, a Putnam City teacher. "I feel like the legislators think they can wait us out. And, I think they’ll be surprised because we’re teachers, we’re patient people."

“If it’s one more day or two more days or a week or whatever it is, were here,” said Edmond teacher Robin Sheetz. "We are here to do what’s right for the kids of Oklahoma."

The crowd linked arms trying to form a human chain around the state capitol in a show of solidarity.

“We stand united. We fight, and they’re not going to divide us,” said Sharita Stalnaker, an Edmond teacher. "We stand firm, and we’ve got to have funding for our schools."

“We’re still going to be together, and we’re still going to stand together and we’re still going to stand strong in the second week,” said Edmond student Gabrielle Davis.

The Oklahoma Education Association asked their members on Tuesday to lobby the governor to veto the repeal of the hotel/motel tax. But, that did not happen.

Governor Mary Fallin signed the repeal into law Tuesday afternoon. But, she also signed two other bills designed to make up that funding including allowing ball and dice gaming at Indian casinos and a bill requiring third party online retailers to collect and remit sales tax back to the state.

“We are about 90 percent of the way to our year-one ask for education and, so, we’re close,” said Oklahoma Education Association president Alicia Priest. "We need the legislature to give a little bit more."

The female attorneys who marched to the capitol on Monday said they had more than a dozen successful meetings with state legislators. They are now also working on the problem.

“We are going to regroup today all of the attorneys, and take all of the information we obtained in all of our individual meetings and see what we can do,” said attorney Jennifer O’Daniel. "What can we do to move forward, whether that is introducing a bill ourselves and bringing it to the legislators? How can we get this funding, regardless of where it’s coming from?"

And, in a lighthearted moment at the capitol, a Stillwater Pre-K teacher got engaged. Her boyfriend held a sign that said: “Since Oklahoma can’t support you, can I?”

“I was wanting to do it in her classroom but, since they’re not in class, I thought this would be a good idea since the state isn’t funding them,” said Jake Jackson. "I thought I’d show that I’d support her."

“I had no idea that it would happen here,” said Jordan Roach. "But, I’m super excited, super surprised,.

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