OK Walkout 2018: Revenge of the Teachers
4:35 PM EDT on April 4, 2018
Oklahoma has finally become a positive source of inspiration for the rest of America! Well, at least the good parts.
Only a few days after receiving a $6,000 per year payoff to go away and be quiet, thousands of teachers from all across the state walked out of the classroom this week and gathered at the Capitol to protest Mary Fallin and conservative Oklahoma lawmakers' morbid fascination with not adequately funding education.
From a social media spectator position, the whole saga has been fun to watch. It's a classic battle of good versus evil. I'm calling it "OK Walkout 2018: Revenge of the Teachers."
On one side, we have our heroes – Oklahoma teachers, students, and educators. And no, I'm not just saying that so they'll continue to like our social media posts. They're angry, on edge, and after years of having their highly publicized demands for more education funding ignored and neglected, finally flexing their selfless might and leading the fight to save public education in Oklahoma.
They're not playing nice, either. If you say something mean, rude or condescending about a teacher, even if it's rooted in some form of truth, be prepared to be deservedly shamed, mocked and ridiculed on social media. The stumbling, mumbling villains in this tale – Mary Fallin and Oklahoma lawmakers – are already learning that lesson the hard way.
On Monday morning, while teachers were still loading buses and gluing stencil-cut letters to poster board, outspoken State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, a man who looks like he's still recovering after being kissed by a princess and turned into a frog, came out strongly against the teacher walkout:
Naturally, teachers responded to Cleveland's call for them to return to their underfunded classrooms and glued back together textbooks with contempt, outrage and general mockery. You can't blame them. I'm about as lazy a person as you can get, and even I'd take offense to an Oklahoma lawmaker – a metaphor for dysfunction and irresponsible behavior – telling me to get back to work.
Another person whose name appeared on the chalkboard with a check mark is State Rep. Kevin McDugle. Remember him? He's the guy who was accused of having anger management issues in a divorce decree filed by his ex-wife. He thought it would be a good idea to hop on Facebook Live yesterday and destroy whatever is left of his political future in Oklahoma.
McDugle's critical comments about teacher behavior inspired the wrath of educators from Guymon to Gotebo, Muskogee to Meeker and all parts in between. They unleashed on him like a box of bagels in the teachers' lounge. He quickly deleted the video and left this half-assed apology, but not before everyone in the state learned he was an asshole.
And, of course, there's Mary Fallin. She's been in prime Mary Mode the past couple of weeks. She's misjudged, miscalculated and mishandled just about everything surrounding the walkout and teacher pay crisis. The only thing she's done right is avoid teachers:
Outside of that, the whole thing has been a debacle. In a press conference following the signing of the teacher buyout bill, she suggested teachers should come to the capitol on Monday and say "Thank You" for the raise. I guess she assumed teachers were like politicians and wouldn't mind compromising their values for money:
Deep down, I really think Mary thought teachers were going to be satisfied with the $6,000 pay raise buyout, ignore the other education funding issues, and waste the rare opportunity and power they have to make meaningful change to education funding in Oklahoma. In all honesty, I was kind worried they may do the same. Congrats to teachers for proving us both wrong... for now.
Mary followed that brilliant statement from Monday's press conference with this interview with CBS. She claimed teachers were behaving like teenagers who want a better car:
I know Mary Fallin specializes in looking dumb in interviews, but is she trying to say teachers are greedy and spoiled? That would be like a teacher calling Mary Fallin bright and articulate. It's also a bad analogy. Not every Oklahoma teenager who begs for a "better car" is doing it because they're entitled and spoiled like Mary's kids. In fact, I would say most Oklahoma teens are like teachers when it comes to cars – they want a better car because the one they're driving is a piece of shit, but they really can't afford a new one.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens with the rest of this saga. Specifically, how long will the walkout last, what will it accomplish, and what stupid thing will a lawmaker say next to piss everyone off? You also have to wonder when and how the Oil Overlords and Oklahoma political establishment are going to mount their counterattack. You know it's already in the works. We wish teachers the best of luck in fending it off, and continuing to seek their revenge. This state needs it.
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