The Morning Bell: The harmful effects of Indigenous peoples as mascots
Health experts have said for years now that the continued use of Indigenous peoples as mascots has harmful effects on the mental health of Indigenous children, writes Graham Lee Brewer of High Country News. In a recent column, Brewer spoke with Phil Gover of Oklahoma who said the use of Native American mascots at schools, like Savages and Redskins, has a negative impact on students.
"So, what we teach our children about other cultures matters a lot," Gover said. "It governs the things they do and say to each other, how they treat each other. I saw that reflected in (my son's) schools in Virginia, and his schools here in Oklahoma City.”
In 2015, the Redskins mascot at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City was changed.
Also, Gover is leading an effort to open a charter school for Native American students in Oklahoma city.
Legislative session underway
The 2018 regular state legislative session began on Monday, and in her State of the State address Gov. Mary Fallin endorsed a series of tax increases to fill a large state budget hole and fund a teacher pay raise. In her appeal to the Legislature, she said, "Before you cast your vote, focus on the teacher who will see a $5,000 salary increase not just as a way to pay bills, but as a validation of their vital vocation, and a business community that sees how committed we are to a strong, educated workforce."
Here are five takeaways from the first day of the legislative session.
-State Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, has proposed a ballot question that would let Oklahomans vote on whether to link legislator pay to the largely ignored school funding deadline. State law commands the Legislature to pass a school funding bill by April 1. If Brooks' proposal is adopted and future deadlines pass without action from the House and Senate, the Oklahoma Board of Legislative Compensation can meet to consider lawmaker salary. You can read more here.
Search to begin for new OKCPS superintendent
Oklahoma City Public Schools' next leader will be a team player and govern in partnership with the school board, panel members told The Oklahoman.
"We have to be clear with our goals, we have to be clear with our vision and we have to find someone to match that," board member Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs said Friday. "We have to view the superintendent role for what it is — part of a team and not a single deciding factor in the success of the district."
Edmond hosting teacher job fair
Edmond Public Schools is hosting a teacher job fair from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 20 and 22 at the district's administrative headquarters, 1001 W Danforth Road.
The Feb. 20 event is for people interested in a job in elementary education. The Feb. 22 event is for people interested in a job in secondary education.
Chief Human Resources Officer Randy Decker said the district will have open positions posted in the areas of elementary, early childhood, math, English and special education, among others.
“Edmond Schools is the fastest-growing school district in the state with 400 to 500 new students attending each year,” Decker said. “The need to hire highly qualified teachers to keep pace with the growth in student population is a constant challenge.”
Student arrested for allegedly bringing gun to school
A 14-year-old student was arrested Monday after he brought a gun to his middle school in Bartlesville, reports the Tulsa World.
Officers went to Madison Middle School, 5900 Baylor Drive, about 2:10 p.m. in reference to a student rumored to have been carrying a gun at school, Bartlesville Police Department Capt. Jay Hastings said in a news release.
Education town hall
OKC Town Hall will host Frank Wang at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15.
Wang is president of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics. He graduated from Norman High School. He earned a degree in math from Princeton and a Ph.D. in pure mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has co-authored a widely used high school calculus textbook. You can read more here.
That's all for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Tuesday!