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Tulsa educator says some teachers will 'quit on the spot' if Ryan Walters elected state superintendent

A photo of Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and State Secretary of Education Ryan Walters at a rally in Oklahoma City the day of the 2022 primary runoff elections on August 23, 2022.

One local educator is expressing their concerns for the future of Oklahoma schools after Ryan Walters won the GOP nomination for state superintendent on Tuesday.

The secretary of public education is slated to face Democrat Jena Nelson in November.

Shawna Mott-Wright, the president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, said some of her teachers say they will 'quit on the spot' if Walters is elected state superintendent in the fall.

"My phone went off all hours Tuesday. Almost every single message was, 'I will quit.'" Mott-Wright said. "If we have Walters and Stitt, I will quit — if we have Walters I will quit.'"

Mott-Wright said educators are already struggling to keep up with the state's teacher shortage, and issues surrounding topics like House Bill 1775, the so-called ban on critical race theory, are scaring off current and potential teachers.

"This is the worst time to be attacking teachers," Mott-Wright explained. "The 'rederick' is nothing other than trying to light people up who don't have real information. It's just so-self serving and so divisive for people."

The Tulsa educator said it's important for people to be open about what's going on in Oklahoma's classrooms because, "teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions."

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.