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A Teacher’s Open Letter to Legislators

May 19, 2016

I’ve written enough this week, but I still have more blogging to do. Maybe it’s time for another voice, though. For that, I’ll turn to long time blog follower and Bixby Public Schools educator, Jessica Jernegan.

From Facebook:

In light of my less than productive capitol visit on Tuesday, and today’s legislative foolery, I just can’t keep this saved on my desktop any longer. Take or leave it, just my (frustration induced) two cents.

An Open Letter to Our Oklahoma State Legislature:

First and foremost, these suggestions do not apply to all of you, so let me say, just as I do in my classroom, you know who you are.

Below you’ll find just a few humble suggestions from a disheartened teacher who’s had enough.

1. STOP WASTING TIME on legislation that is both pointless and fiscally irresponsible. When we can define bills as, “an emotional distraction,” you’re not doing your job.

2. When teachers, parents, and administrators from your districts make the drive, week after week, to the capitol to meet with you, SHOW UP. There is never, and will never, be a situation at our schools in which we tell kids/parents “she’s gone for the day.” You are, by definition, a representative, act like it.

3. It is absolutely despicable that it is currently May 19th and we don’t have a BUDGET. I can guarantee you one thing, if your jobs depended upon it, as ours do, it would be done. Do your part to retain teachers in our state. Don’t leave them in limbo, wondering about their employment, or lack there of, while you waste time on issues that are irrelevant in the face of our current crisis.

4. RESPECT us as professionals. When we talk with you about state mandated testing, student impact, teacher evaluations, school funding, and teacher salaries, LISTEN TO US. We know what we are talking about. Give us the same professional courtesy you give your doctor. We care about the health of our public schools and the future of the students they serve. Treat us as if our opinion matters and is valid, because it does, and it is!

Thank you to those to which these suggestions do not apply, keep fighting the good fight. You know who you are.

Jessica Jernegan
Proud Oklahoma Teacher

To that, I’ll just add that Oklahomans are watching. Get a budget passed. Make sure it’s grounded in reality this time. We’ll be voting accordingly.


  1. Barbara Smith
    May 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    AMEN to all of those points! Instead of passing legislation to impeach our President or to put
    doctors in prison for providing a woman and asked for procedure in a safe manner, just pass a BUDGET! Do your job, the rest of us have to do our jobs despite being labeled as slugs by those
    who are truly the slugs in the legislature!


  2. Kristin Walker
    May 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Well said! Thank you from one teacher to another! I will never understand why common sense doesn’t prevail in government, but is expected to everywhere else in life!


  3. May 23, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    This letter is well written and to the point. My only criticism is that you fail to share the name of the public servant who was gone for thw day when you called on them.


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