Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin compared striking teachers to teenagers and also said Antifa was involved in the teacher protests at the Capitol on Tuesday, according to CBS News.
Oklahoma teachers, union leaders, and some outside supporters have been protesting in Oklahoma City since Monday when a nearly statewide strike began.
What did Fallin say?
Fallin, who last week signed a bill that will raise teacher salaries by an average of about $6,100 next year, dismissed the teachers’ desires as similar to those of teenagers.
“Teachers want more,” Fallin said to CBS News reporter Omar Villafranca. “But it’s kind of like a teenager wanting a better car.”
Fallin also signed a pay raise for school support staff of about $1,250 annually.
Fallin also told Villafranca that members of Antifa had contributed to the unrest at the Capitol, although no reports have yet confirmed that members of the sometimes-violent far-left group were participating in the protests.
Talked w/Ok Gov Mary Fallin about #oklahomateachersstrike. She mentioned “outside” groups w/teachers at Capitol. I… https://t.co/3KgTivCSLs— Omar Villafranca (@Omar Villafranca)1522801321.0
In response to the comments, protesters inside the Capitol on Wednesday could be heard chanting “Where is Mary?” Fallin has not been present to address protesters to this point.
Chants of "Where is Mary," a day after Gov. Mary Fallin said teachers want more money "like a teenager wanting a be… https://t.co/Ed0YKoLKpA— Ben Felder (@Ben Felder)1522867062.0
Recapping the demands
Oklahoma teachers have asked for $10,000 raises to be given over the course of the next three years for teachers, $5,000 raises for school support staff, and $200 million in additional general education funding.
This isn’t the first time Fallin has ruffled feathers of teachers recently. Last week, after she signed the bill for the $6,100 raises, Fallin said she expected gratitude from the teachers who were coming to the Capitol anyway.
“I hope they can come up here and say ‘thank you’ on Monday and go back to the classrooms,” Fallin said at a news conference.
Many teachers decided to go forward with the strike despite the raises because they’re also asking for $200 million in education funding, but the bill Fallin signed only provides $50 million.
There has been no progress made toward new legislation to satisfy the teachers, and the teachers have shown no signs of being ready to end the strike.
Many Oklahoma districts have already canceled school for the rest of the week.