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Lawton Schools will be closed for 8th day today

Lawton Public Schools will closed again today  the eighth day in the ongoing walkout. 

Support for maintaining the walkout has begun to erode, according to results from the daily LPS poll issued to staff and faculty. Of the 1,292 responses Wednesday, 81.9 percent called for continuing the walkout  even as most teachers in most districts have returned to their classrooms. Lawton Public Schools and Cache Public Schools are the only districts in Comanche County that continue to be closed. They join Altus Public Schools, which opened Monday and Tuesday for third-grade classes to take state-mandated tests, as the only school districts in Southwest Oklahoma that remain closed. 

The vast majority of faculty and staff that responded to the poll are in favor of remaining closed, but the numbers are starting to shift toward finally opening and concluding the remainder of the school year. At the height of support, 89.7 percent of faculty and staff voted to remain closed on April 4. That number continues to decrease with each new poll. 

These results prompted Superintendent Tom Deighan to write a letter to staff and parents Wednesday to encourage them to think about returning to classrooms before the end of the week. 

"Legislators do not currently plan to be in session on Friday, and if they do not meet, I propose that we resume classes on Friday, April 13, 2018, to be ready for a full week of classes starting April 16," Deighan stated in the letter. "This would minimize any further disruptions to our staff, students and community. We would continue to send advocacy groups to the end of this legislative session."

Some teachers maintain that returning to the classroom now would sabotage the achievements that have been made up to this point. Deighan said in the letter that he supports his teachers and that his faith is "unmovable." He highlighted the accomplishments teachers have made as part of the walkout, including moving a "broken legislative machine" to overcome an "unimaginable" 75 percent super majority rule to pass tax increases in this state.

The Lawton Constitution

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