There was nothing formal on Shawnee's School Board meeting agenda, but the superintendent and two board members briefly mentioned the possibility of a teacher walkout in the state because of education funding issues.

There was nothing formal on Shawnee's School Board meeting agenda, but the superintendent and two board members briefly mentioned the possibility of a teacher walkout in the state because of education funding issues.

Superintendent Dr. April Grace made the first mention during her monthly report.

While she thinks everyone hopes to avoid a walkout, she said they all understand that it may be something teachers collectively determine is the action they need to take.

“And we need to be supportive of them in that effort,” she said.

If that's the case, the district will have some things they need to work out, she said.

Grace said while a walkout isn't what everyone wants, she believes everyone is trying to find ways to create productive anxiety for legislators so we as a state can look at school funding and teacher raises.

While there are some “rogue” comments circulating on social media on when a walkout could be, Grace said she believes there will be some type of plan or announcement made by the Oklahoma Education Association. She said she will be attending a meeting with other superintendents regarding legal issues as well.

Board President Keith Sandlin, in regards to education funding and talk of a teacher walkout, encouraged everyone to call their state legislators and voice their concerns on this issue. With a $167 million shortfall already, he said state education is being funded at the same level now as it was in 2008.

Board member Larry Walker also made a few comments about the need for funding, and said “public education is the best place for a child getting to have a chance.”

The Shawnee district is among the schools listed as being supportive of a teacher walkout, but local Shawnee Association of Classroom Teachers members said more is expected from the OEA this week.

Before taking up matters of business at Monday's meeting, the board also recognized outgoing board member John Soap for his service.

Two new board members, Kristen Wilson and Misty Heath, also took oaths of office and took their seats on the board for the rest of the meeting.

With new faces, a reorganization of the board was held, with Keith Sandlin remaining president, April Stobbe as first vice-president, Kristen Wilson was named second vice-president and Bobby Canty is the clerk.

The board approved several items of business and heard several public comments, with each person receiving a three-minute time limit and no comments allowed by the board.

Shawnee High School student River Porter addressed the board about “apathetic behavior toward and the acceptance of Nazi behavior at Shawnee High School.” He explained that he was called into the office about a post he made on social media regarding clothing worn at the high school. He said he was told to take the post down because it was taken against other student's consent, which he said was reasonable because it was against school policy. But he said an administrator asked his religion and told him Nazism was a valid and legitimate political party within the state and school so a student can't be punished for wearing that clothing. But Porter told the board that the student handbook shows clothing, badges or other items reflecting obscenity, profanity or ethnic discrimination, or clothing related to gang affiliation, isn't allowed. He said his father contacted the superintendent about the administrator and visited with the head principal, but also told the board that the school has been made aware of the issue and nothing has been looked into. He took his concerns to social media, with intention of making people his age aware of the problem. He said that post been seen by more than 12,000 people.

In conclusion, Porter said he hopes this will bring some reform to the high school, and if nothing else, he wanted to make the board aware.

After that, Tara Barlean, a parent of a student on the cheer squad, addressed the board about changes with the cheer squad dates, with conflicts with volleyball based on the district's changes. For that reason, she said they've requested permission to do a video tryout, which she said the athletic director has denied. She left the board packets with further information and said she has spoken to several on the issue. Barlean said they went by the schedule at the beginning of the year and dates changed, but this is her daughter's senior year and she is being denied a chance to tryout by video.

She hopes to get this resolved, but she also let the board know her husband is an attorney and if they can't get a response, they do have a court date set. She said her daughter deserves an opportunity to try out by video.

The board also approved some routine hires and watched a presentation about Shawnee Middle School.

Grace also announced they were all looking forward to the district's Teacher of the Year banquet, scheduled Tuesday. Watch for updates.