Time runs out for Calcasieu based recall campaign - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Time runs out for Calcasieu-based recall campaign

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It was a recall effort heard about all around the state. An effort to recall Gov. Bobby Jindal and House Speaker, Rep. Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, over their support of the controversial education reform bill which passed earlier this year.

"Listen to us. Because they wouldn't listen to us, then we decided we had to get their attention some way," said recall campaign organizer, Angie Bonvillain.

The recall, which hundreds of educators across the state participated in, was led largely in part by two teachers here in Calcasieu Parish. In an interview earlier this year, Bonvillain explained why she's so passionate about the recall.

"We want reform," she said. "We, as educators, we love this. This is our livelihood. This is our passion. We just want it done the right way."

For months, Bonvillain and other teachers petitioned for enough signatures to force a recall voicing their opinions and ideas every step of the way.

"Let everyone's voice be heard," said educator Betty Simms at a recall rally in June.  "We are all equal. We are all important. We all matter."

"We need the Louisiana Department of Educations to pay attention," said supporter Vicky Johnston. "We need Governor Bobby Jindal to pay attention and we need Chuck Kleckley to pay attention."

Tuesday marked the benchmark day to have collected enough signatures for a successful recall campaign. Not having been able to meet the needed number of signatures, teachers called it quits on the recall.

"Think that it made the public aware of the injustices in the laws in Baton Rouge for students for our community, for our state," said supporter Anne Reeves. 

While the recall may not have been successful this time around, the fight for a better public education system is far from over.

"We will show the State of Louisiana, the politicians, that we are up for any challenge that you give to us ... We will meet the challenge as we always have and bottom line, it's students first," said Reeves.

While an exact number was not given, Bonvillain told 7News they received over half of the required signatures for Kleckley and while not half for Jindal, Bonvillain says they received a substantial amount.  

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