Oklahoma Teachers Share Heartbreaking Photos Of Their Crumbling Textbooks

by Thea Glassman
Image via Sarah Jane Scarberry/Twitter/jamiebh73/Twitter

Oklahoma teachers are sharing pictures of their classroom textbooks — and it’s so infuriating

On Monday, an estimated 36,000 Oklahoma public school teachers went on strike and headed straight to the state capital to voice their complaints. There’s a whole laundry list of issues that these teachers have to deal with, from ridiculously low salaries (one woman reported making $27,732 a year) to over capacity classrooms. But for now, let’s take a look at how truly awful these teachers’ classroom resources are.

Oklahoma teachers have been sharing pictures of their school’s crumbling, barely functional textbooks — and how is this at ALL okay?

So, it’s bad enough that these textbooks are basically not even usable. But there’s also not even enough of these completely disintegrated resources to go around. One teacher told BBC News that she has 29 textbooks for 87 students. Oh yeah, and the textbooks teachers do have are completely outdated. According to PBS News, one student reported using a a Spanish textbook from 2003 and a science textbook that was published ten years ago. Some history books still say George W. Bush is president.

If this is already wholeheartedly depressing you – just wait until you see the chairs in these classrooms. Many are completely broken, and there’s barely enough to go around for everyone. They match the rest of the classroom aesthetic, which is pretty much completely nonfunctional.

“In our building alone, the chairs are falling apart, the plastic is breaking off of them. We have classrooms that have ceiling tiles missing from rain,” Margie McElhany, an English Language Arts teacher in Oklahoma, told KXII. “Every time it rains heavy, we have classrooms that flood, and peeling paint, along with tiles missing.”

In a heartbreaking Facebook post, Laurissa Kovacs, an Oklahoma art teacher, explained just how bad the situation has gotten.

“Today a student actually carried his chair with him to sharpen his pencil because he got in early enough to get a good chair,” she wrote. “I’ve gotten a few new students and had to throw a bottom-less chair away so tomorrow I’m having to bring in a couple of folding chairs I have here at home.”

On Tuesday, teachers entered their second day of strike, which will hopefully, hopefully force Oklahoma’s government to step up and provide a whole lot more funding for education. Pretty much the rest of America will be watching, and we’re all mad as hell.