DURANT, Okla. (KXII) -- Oklahoma's teacher of the year, from right here in Texoma, is speaking out about the behavior of some of those teachers protesting at the state Capitol.
"I love teaching," said Oklahoma's teacher of the year Jon Hazell. "I've had a lot of opportunities to do other things but I've never wanted to leave the classroom. I think I enjoy it now maybe even more when I started."
Hazell has taught science classes at Durant High School for 35 years. He was one of the thousands who attended Monday's teacher walkout at the state Capitol. Rallying for better funding for public education.
But that one day march has continued all week. Hazell believes due to the pent-up frustration of fellow teachers.
"For so many years they thought they're not being heard, not being listened to, they're not being respected, they're not being valued," Hazell said. "I think that it's built up for so long it finally boiled over."
But Hazell said even after the nearly six-thousand dollar teacher pay raise, some of the protesters are getting out of hand.
"What I don't like to see is the way it's been handled by some," Hazell said. "That there's been (inaudible) there's been vulgarity and there's been a lot of it. That's whats breaking my heart because while I understand the action and don't disagree with the action itself, I do disagree with some of the methods that are being used because I think it's doing more damage than it is good if we continue down that road."
Hazell said he hopes to move from the classroom to the state senate chamber. He is running for the open senate seat in district six, where if elected he said he'll advocate for better education funding.
Incumbent Republican Josh Brecheen has announced he won't seek re-election.