U.S. Grant High School teacher speaks on experience testifying at Kavanaugh hearing

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A local high school teacher testified on Capitol Hill.

Melissa Smith, a criminal justice teacher at U.S. Grant High School, was selected by the Senate judiciary democrats to represent unions at Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination hearing.

It's a long way from U.S. Grant High School to Washington, D.C., but Smith said the decisions made at our nation's capitol have a major impact on her students.

Smith had already been to D.C. for an education funding briefing for the American Federation of Teachers, so the decision was easy.

"I wasn't hesitant at all because who gets to do this?" she said.

Smith, who participated in the teacher walkout, speaking out once again about issues close to her heart.

"Siphoning more money away from public education will destroy public schools," she said during the hearing.

Smith also touched on school vouchers, something previously supported by Kavanaugh, and unions - topics some believed had nothing to do with The Supreme Court.

"There's always a concern that personal views will influence judgment," Smith said.

One of her concerns for unions stems from the high court's Janus decision on union fees this summer, the high court ruling unions can no longer force public employees to pay union fees.

Smith said Kavanaugh's history of opposing collective bargaining would also be disastrous for teachers. She leans on unions to improve wages and classroom conditions for students.

"There are real world implications for one person to be on The Supreme Court," Smith told News 4.

Kavanaugh, whose mother was a public school teacher, was once a lecturer at Harvard Law School. He's seen support from other educators, including a Yale Law School professor.

"Kavanaugh has studied the constitution with more care, consistency, range, scholarliness and thoughtfulness than any other sitting Republican federal judge under age 60," said Prof. Akhil Amar, of Yale Law School.

Smith said her goal was to give public school students and teachers a voice.

"I wrote what we see every day, and what we feel and the concerns that the teachers that I know - the concerns that we have, the things that impact our students and so there wasn't a lot of pressure because I spoke our truth," she said.

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