Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has offended thousands of teachers on strike in her state, belittling them by comparing their dire financial needs to teenage angst.
In an interview with CBS News, Fallin described teachers in her state in unfair and contemptuous terms.
“Teachers want more,” Fallin explained. “But it's kind of like having a teenage kid that wants a better car.”
A video of Mary Fallin begging the entire state of Oklahoma to hate her even more than they already do. pic.twitter.com/7cRhdOeQNO— em deck (@emaleedeckard) April 4, 2018
Fallin also mentioned to the interviewer that the teachers were backed by more than just their union groups, including the “antifa” or anti-fascist movement as well, providing no evidence to back up her claims.
Her words are callous and disregard the realities that teachers in the state are facing. Oklahoma ranks 47th overall in teacher pay across the U.S.
Many teachers within the state have also explained that they often take on additional side jobs in addition to their roles as teachers in order to make ends meet. Some even have up to six jobs, including teaching, further demonstrating how meager their earnings as educators truly are.
Fallin did sign a pay raise for educators earlier this week, but teachers say it doesn’t go far enough to provide them financial security. Teachers have also shared images of schools in disrepair, highlighting that their working conditions and materials are in need of an upgrade as well.
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
One of the reasons it’s not over yet...This is a textbook from my daughter’s class. It’s a history book and the current President in it is George W. Bush. We can do better Oklahoma. #OklahomaTeacherWalkout#oklaed #oklaleg @gophouseok @oksenategop @housedemsok @oksenatedems pic.twitter.com/F5FE3JcFQh— Jamie (@jamiebh73) March 30, 2018
Some people may say that concessions made by Fallin and state Republicans are enough, and that teachers should move on. But the pay raise that was offered to them does very little, and many in the state will still have to work second or third jobs to put dinner on their tables.
Fallin is wrong to disregard teachers’ needs the way she has, and it’s disgusting that she is willfully ignoring their plight. Teachers do so much and ask for very little in return. A pay raise is long overdue for many educators across the nation, including in the state of Oklahoma.