Oklahoma Teacher Writes Open Letter Asking Parents to 'Love' Their Kids Like He Does

PHOTO: Steven Wedel, 49, wrote an open letter admonishing parents and Oklahoma lawmakers for exacerbating the struggles he faces as a teacher.Getty Images
Steven Wedel, 49, wrote an open letter admonishing parents and Oklahoma lawmakers for exacerbating the struggles he faces as a teacher.

An Oklahoma City English teacher wrote what he calls a brutally honest open letter asking the parents of his students to "love your children the way we love your children."

In the letter, 49-year-old Steve Wedel admonishes irresponsible parents and "inept" lawmakers for the struggles he says he faces as a teacher.

"I teach them to look behind your lies and rhetoric," Wedel wrote about his students. "I teach them to think for themselves."

Wedel said although the sentiments in the letter have been bubbling up for some time, the final straw was when budget cuts eliminated the after-school activity buses that take home underclassmen student council members. He is the faculty sponsor of student council activities at Western Heights High School.

"That was very upsetting to me," Wedel told ABC News today.

PHOTO: Oklahoma English Teacher Steve Wedel wrote an open letter admonishing parents and local lawmakers for the struggles he faces on the jobSteve Wedel
Oklahoma English Teacher Steve Wedel wrote an open letter admonishing parents and local lawmakers for the struggles he faces on the job

Wedel sat down to write the letter Friday morning and published it to his website. To his surprise, it had been viewed more than 10,000 times by the next day. So far, the blog post has been viewed more than 39,000 times, and he says he has received thousands of comments, mostly positive, on social media.

Current and former teachers have reached out to Wedel to congratulate him on writing such a powerful and passionate letter, he said.

"I’ve gotten emails from as far away as Japan and Australia saying, 'I know what you’re talking about,'" he said.

Wedel said he goes above and beyond for his students, as is evidenced by the list of extras he keeps for them in his classroom, such as blankets "for when they're cold."

"I love my job," Wedel wrote. "I love your kids. I call them my kids."

Wedel, who wrote that he's been teaching for 10 years, criticized parents for neglecting their children.

"Often, they stay at school with me for an hour and a half after the bell rings because they don’t want to go home to you," he said.

The AP Literature teacher also criticized lawmakers, calling them "uncaring" for whittling down education funding and wasting taxpayer dollars.

"... As I turn 50 this year and wonder how I’ll put my own high school-age kids through college, I have to consider giving up helping scores of kids per year so I can afford to give my own children what they need to find satisfaction in their lives," he wrote.

He ended the letter by begging parents to love their children and to "vote for people who will help teachers educate and nurture the kids we share."

"We can't do it alone, anymore," Wedel said.

Wedel says he asked the school administration for permission when he received his first interview request following his open letter going viral. They told him they would remain neutral and that he was free to do any interviews as long as they didn't take place on school grounds, he said.

Read Wedel's full letter here.

The Western Heights Public School District did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.