Teacher Walkout Impacting School Activities

POTEAU (KFSM)- The teacher walkout is impacting school activities in just about every district, some being cancelled and others having to change things.

"It's tradition," Sherry Balew, President of the Poteau Women's League said. "86 years."

Despite schools being shutdown, the Senior Girls' Tea for Poteau High School students will still go on.

The Poteau Women's League focuses on education and teaching young girls different aspects of life.

"To help with cultural differences, to help teach them manners and to give them a social setting that they may have never experienced before," Balew said.

Not only is the annual tea a tradition, it's planned a year in advance. Volunteers said they support the walkout, though.

"We support our teachers 100%," Balew said. "Oklahoma is one of the lowest paid states, teacher salary wise, and if we want to keep teachers in Oklahoma, we have to pay them a decent wage."

The shutdown is affecting other activities, too, like the Oklahoma State Science Fair.

Poteau senior, Grayson Wise is headed to compete, but she will have to do so without her teacher sponsor.

"My mom is going to be coming with me, but it`s not really a burden," Wise said. "I guess I`m more going with the flow, but it is also kind of sad to think my sponsor can`t be there to watch me compete."

Wise spent over two months researching the science surrounding serial killers.

While she worked hard on her project, Wise said what teachers are doing is worth the changes to school activities.

"It`s very cool to think I`m a part of history being made like with the teacher`s walking out, so I wouldn`t have been too disappointed if it would have had to be rescheduled," Wise said. "For some students I know it`s kind of hard for them because they aren`t able to go do everything and play their sports and stuff. I know they`re also okay with it, because it`s for something that`s very well worth it."

The State Science Fair and Debate Tournament will still go on as planned, but all other local school activities will be cancelled as long as schools are closed.