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The 10 best protest signs at today's education rally

by Matt Carney Published: March 31, 2014

With an estimated 25,000 people out at the state Capitol Monday rallying for an increase in public funding for education, it’s no surprise that the crowd — many of them teachers and school administrators who were bused in from around the state — brought some clever signs to drive their points home. Let’s have a look at some of the stronger ones.

10. 49th IS NOT OK

49thnotok

Short, sweet and an overused-but-nonetheless-valid play on the state’s abbreviation. Presentation’s pretty basic but the point comes across loud and clear. Probably would’ve stood out a little more if the signmaker had taken the time to cut the poster into the shape of the state and maybe varied up font size a little, but nothing’s left in doubt. This passes with a C.


9. OKLAHOMA PUBLIC SCHOOL ENEMY NO. 1

Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Blunt? Yes. Does this woman look like she gives a rip about civility? No. C+ for strong concept, casual execution.


8. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT

Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Your ideal protest sign shouldn’t require more than about five seconds for the average onlooker to compute and this one fails that test. This guy looks like he’s juggling about four or five different rhetorical ideas on a single sign, but his disdain for the modern Oklahoma system of education seems pretty clear. This one passes with another C+, but Goatee’s in need of an editor to help express himself more clearly.


7. BOOT BARRESI

Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Another minimalist approach, this one benefiting from a strong verb and use of consonance. This is the stuff chants are made of. A solid B—, probably could’ve earned a B+ with a larger sign and a stronger play on the boot shape (i.e. shaping the poster like a boot, ‘booting’ a picture of Barresi, etc.)


6. 9TH IN QUALITY 49TH IN PAY

Photo via <a href="https://twitter.com/dndupuyFoxOKC/status/450639776438177792/photo/1">Danielle Dupuy</a>
Photo via Danielle Dupuy

Juxtaposing two big statistics is always a strong choice. B, could’ve been a B+ with a better layout.


5. THOSE WHO CAN, TEACH …

Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Lemme get you some ice for that burn, state legislators. B+


4.
LEARN FROM WALT

Photo by K.T. King, The Oklahoman
Photo by K.T. King, The Oklahoman

Points for the pop culture reference, additional points for a reference that demonstrates clear knowledge of subject matter. A—, could’ve received top marks with a larger sign, bigger letters.


3.
STOOPS AND GUNDY

Photo via <a href="https://twitter.com/calhardage/status/450641835199717376">Cal Hardage</a>
Photo via Cal Hardage

Another statistical juxtaposition, this one much stronger. And when you think about it, 49th out of 50 states in teacher pay ratios is more like the very dregs of college football rankings, not top-50. Imagine if OU were a Div. 1AA team. A for strong concept.

2. ROTTEN APPLE

Photo by K.T. King, The Oklahoman
Photo by K.T. King, The Oklahoman

Bold, eye-catching, and mindful of the basic properties of physics (The shadow at the bottom! The shiny light reflection at top!). This is a political cartoon worthy of publishing. Look in closer and you’re rewarded with a clever almost-portmanteau in one of the worms. A+


1. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME …

Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Simple. Catchy. Plays on statewide anxieties. Made an effort at illustration that enhanced the message. Your 8th grade civics teacher would be proud. A+.

Check out more photos from today’s education rally here.

Matt Carney is an editor of NewsOK.com. He operates a Twitter account.

by Matt Carney
Online Editor
Matt Carney is the night editor of NewsOK.com and a 2011 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was born in Tulsa, lives in Oklahoma City and misses QuikTrip every day.
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