An Oklahoma teacher's open letter to lawmakers quickly went viral for its brutal honesty.
Steven Wedel posted the letter on his Wordpress blog, sharing his experience with students who haven't eaten enough or struggle with their home life.
"Over 90 percent of the kids in my high school are on the free or reduced lunch programs," he wrote in the Feb. 26 blog post. "They walk hand-in-hand with Poverty and its brother Violence. They find comfort in the arms of your lover, Addiction. They make babies before they are old enough to vote. Or drive. And they continue the cycle you put them in."
When Wedel used the word "you," he was referring to the senators, representatives and governor of Oklahoma. According to Wedel, these lawmakers' policies, laws and budget cuts have made it difficult for students to afford a proper education and lead a fulfilling, sustainable life.
"You whittle away at education funding," Wedel wrote. "You waste the taxpayers’ money so that our great state faces unbelievable shortfalls and massive budget cuts. You take home a salary that ranks 10th highest in the nation among state legislators and you are inept, uncaring, and an abomination to our democratic form of government."
Wedel said that due to budget cuts, his school district is no longer able to afford to run late buses for students who want to stay later or to employ a nighttime cleaning staff.
"Oh sure, we could make the kids clean up after themselves, except our administrators live in fear of lawsuits, and making a kid pick up the lunch tray he threw on the floor has been considered forced child labor," he wrote. "There’s also the very real possibility that a belligerent kid will just take a swing at one of us — again — because he or she wasn’t taught respect for authority at home. Did I mention how we had to let go of our security officers because we could no longer afford them?"
Wedel's post began garnering serious attention shortly after it was posted — gaining over 6,400 Facebook likes and 211 comments in just four days.