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?
— Donna Mace (@DMace8) April 3, 2018
Two Oklahoma teachers shared these photos w/ me. Their students use these textbooks. It blows my mind. pic.twitter.com/kF6Azdlgy4
— Alexia Campbell (@AlexiaCampbell) April 2, 2018
— Scott Heins (@scottheins) March 10, 2018
According to this crumbling history textbook, the current President is George W. Bush, says the mother of an 8th grader in Owasso, Oklahoma. Teachers across the state say they’ve reached a tipping point, and many are walking out for a second day of protests Tuesday, seeking bette pic.twitter.com/qwjTcLSGmH
— Blue Nation (@bluenationone) April 3, 2018
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 Oh yeah, and the textbooks teachers do have are completely outdated.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.”
Oklahoma teachers are posting their crumbling textbooks and classrooms online, as walkout enters Day 2
— PBS NewsHour Extra (@NewsHourExtra) April 3, 2018
— Donna Mace (@DMace8) March 31, 2018
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.