Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City teachers battle masks: “It’s awkward and tense, their whole career at stake”

Amy Christie

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Several teachers employed by the Oklahoma City Public Schools were placed on leave for refusing to comply with the mask mandate put in place by the district. Now they’re filing a lawsuit to stop being punished because of the mask requirement.

What are the details?

Ginger Tinney, Professional Oklahoma Educators executive director, said for KOCO-TV that the organization will represent six employees who have decided to take the school district to trial due to the punishment they received for not wearing masks, according to The Blaze.

“It is a little awkward and tense, but, you know, obviously, the teachers are very upset. They're on paid administrative leave,” Tinney said.
“So, you know, this is their whole career they've worked hard for. I mean, it's very serious. We're happy to represent them, and we'll just see what the courts decide,” she added.

The teachers are having a hard time figuring their course of action precisely because there are conflicting orders from different authorities.

“The teachers are in a bad spot. Like, you have a state law that says one thing. You have a school person or school superintendent who disagrees with the law, and they pass their own rules. So, a teacher doesn't really know what their rights are, what legality is here,” Tinney said.

Oklahoma health officials have asked the state governor to impose mask mandates on kids going back to classrooms, but Gov. Kevin Stitt has resisted those appeals. Some hospitals are requiring masks for workers.

Oklahoma City Public Schools announced its own mask rule in the second week of school. There were also protests from hundreds of people on Saturday who gathered to speak against vaccines and mask mandates.

“I think it's important that teachers know we, Professional Oklahoma Educators, have their backs. If they get in tough situations, they need to know, 'Hey, there is help out there. We are there to help you,’” Tinney concluded.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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