Fact check: Antifa, paid protesters and death threats at the Oklahoma teacher walkout

Donate
Protesters pack the Oklahoma Capitol for a third day on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. BRIANNA BAILEY/The Frontier
Here’s a fact check for day three of the Oklahoma teacher walkout.

Claim: Paid protesters and Antifa have infiltrated teacher demonstrations at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Fact check: The Oklahoma Department of Safety issued a statement Wednesday stating it has “identified a growing number of outside protest groups, not involved with the ongoing teachers’ rally, present at the State Capitol.”

In an interview with The Frontier, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons said he could not say how many of these protestors were at the Capitol.

“Part of the reason for that is because we don’t want to draw too much attention to it and part of it is for tactical reasons,” Timmons said.

Members of the Democratic Socialists of America from Texas have been present at the state Capitol this week.

Representatives from the National Education Association have also attended rallies at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Representatives with the American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO have also been in attendance this week.

Teamsters have also been present at the state capitol this week.

Claim: Legislators have received death threats in connection with the teacher walkout.

Fact check: OHP told The Frontier Wednesday that there have been no reports of death threats or vandalism from the Capitol. Timmons said the nature of most calls OHP has responded too have been medical in nature.
In an interview with The Frontier on Wednesday, Ryan Kiesel, executive director of ACLU of Oklahoma, said the ACLU has not seen any evidence of teachers acting in a threatening manner. The ACLU has had independent observers stationed inside and outside the Capitol this week for the walkout.
“We have uniformly observed people exercising their First Amendment rights within the law peacefully,” Kiesel said.

Your financial support for our investigative journalism is now tax deductible. To become a Friend of The Frontier, click here.

Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey grew up in Idaho. Oklahoma is her adopted home. Bailey has covered issues ranging from Oklahoma's strained child welfare system to the slow decline of Oklahoma's rural hospitals. She has walked all the way across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to south via Western Avenue and once via the old U.S. Route 66. Her hobbies are baking and crashing meetings she isn't invited to attend. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from The University of Oklahoma. Email her at brianna@readfrontier.com
Donate