Women in the Law

Nearly 200 female lawyers march to Oklahoma statehouse to support teachers

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Oklahoma Capitol Building/Shutterstock.com.

Nearly 200 female lawyers marched to the Oklahoma statehouse on Monday to speak with lawmakers about funding solutions to end the teacher walkout.

The lawyers, all dressed in black, walked to the Capitol from the Oklahoma Bar Association, report the Tulsa World, News9 (in stories here and here), Newson6 and KTUL.

According to Newson6, thousands of onlookers cheered on the lawyers as they “forged their way through a sea of teachers to sit down with lawmakers.” The lawyers broke into groups to meet with lawmakers, though some were thwarted when they were told to leave messages on legislators’ sign-in sheets, according to the World.

A lawyer in the group, Stacy Acord explained why the lawyers marched for teachers in an interview with Newson6. “Our job here is not to take over and come in to save the day. What we want to do is support them, show them that we stand with them,” she said. Acord is married to a teacher.

Tulsa adoption lawyer Becki Murphy organized the march and wrote about the need to end Oklahoma’s “educational funding nightmare” in a viral Facebook post.

The post read:

“Dear Oklahoma Legislator: I, along with 100 female attorneys, will be coming to see you Monday. I am asking to meet with you and discuss a resolution to this educational funding nightmare. I feel like we can help you, collectively, come up with a resolution. But let’s be clear. There WILL be change. And it WILL be for the better for our children. As Nelson Mandela once said ‘there can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul that the way in which it treats its children.’ Let me be clear about one thing, we need change. And you will do it, or you have my word…. one of the 100 women by my side will file for your seat…. and we will do it for you. I prefer to work with you. It’s your choice if you will work with me.”

Murphy told KTUL that some legislators “will not vote for anything pro-education,” and, “We’re going to find somebody for those seats.”

Teachers, in the second week of their walkout, are backing two measures that could bring in revenue for education funding. They want Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to veto repeal of a hotel and motel tax, and they want removal of an exemption on capital gains taxes, according to the World. The state Senate last week approved revenue measures that would allow casinos to have ball and dice table games and would impose a sales tax on internet retailers.

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