Teachers, students reunite on playground amid Oklahoma teacher walkout

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Before walking to the Oklahoma State Capitol for a sixth day, some teachers took time to see their students.

It’s been quiet on the Wilson Elementary School playground during the teacher walkout. For just one hour, students and teachers gathered to play together because they said they’ve missed each other.

“I hope tomorrow’s not an out-of-school day,” said Nora, a kindergarten student.

It’s not what you’d expect to hear kids say after being out of class for more than a week. Most of the kids at Wilson Elementary are looking forward to heading back to school.

“I was excited because I really miss my teacher a lot,” said Ellie, a first-grader.

Their teachers were excited to see them, too.

“I’ve missed their hugs, their smiles, their words of encouragement,” said Ashley Barker, a pre-k teacher at Wilson Elementary School.

Wilson Elementary School is just a mile-and-a-half from the state capitol, so teachers have been walking there every day of the walkout.

Before heading to the capitol on Monday, teachers said it was time for a reunion.

“I ran over there with my friend, and we hugged her,” Ellie said.

They said it was also time for some encouragement.

“It’s just been very, very reassuring that this is why we’re walking out – for the kids to get more funding,” said Jennifer Parkerson, a first grade teacher.

So, parents and teachers, like Lauren McElvany, organized the time on the playground.

“To let them know we’re still here, we’re not going anywhere, we’re just fighting for them,” McElvany said.

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