Morning Bell: Lawmakers stand behind race riot curriculum
Good Thursday morning. Another day of winter weather has schools in parts of the state closed, including Oklahoma City, Edmond and Enid schools.
Some closed schools will continue to serve meals...
Here's a complete list of closings.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced that all high school basketball playoff games scheduled for Thursday afternoon would be pushed back. (Speaking of high school playoffs - Basketball and wrestling fans no longer face a future parking fee to attend state tournaments at State Fair Arena.)
Lawmakers stand behind race riot curriculum
State Sen. Kevin Mathews, D-Tulsa, announced this week the launch of an online curriculum related to the nearly 98-year-old Tulsa race riot. One-day and five-day lesson plans that include oral accounts by eyewitnesses, photographs and published reports can be accessed at www.tulsa2021.org.
Matthews is chairman of the 1921 Centennial Commission, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the riot as the 100-year anniversary nears. He said not enough is known about what is also called the Greenwood Massacre.
"This is important," he said. "So important that if we don't learn about history we're doomed to repeat it.
"We want to come together across racial and political lines to educate all Oklahomans about the pride of black history and what was once called the Black Wall Street of America and the tragedy of one of the worst massacres in American history."
Interim Edison principal talks about challenges
Edison Preparatory School's new interim principal inherits low teacher morale, skepticism over student discipline policy and one of the district's highest-performing schools, presenting him with a tightrope that he must walk for the next 18 months, reports the Tulsa World.
"This is my first year in Tulsa. From an outsider's perspective, I really don't know the inner workings of what's been going on," said Clay Vinyard, the new interim principal. "I do know it has been very polarizing for the school and for the community, and I think it's probably a good thing to have a fresh restart."
Amid pressure from the Edison community, Tulsa Public Schools announced that it would transfer Vinyard to Edison and move outgoing principal Dixie Speer into the role he vacated at Tulsa Learning Academy. Both transfers are on an interim basis while the district will use the 18 months to conduct a local and national search for a permanent principal while the school heals.
Arrest made after school threat
An 18-year-old Oklahoma City man was arrested Tuesday after threatening to shoot a high school student at Capitol Hill High School. Raul Armando Ramirez was booked into the Oklahoma County jail on a complaint of planning to perform an act of violence involving serious bodily injury, jail records show.
In Muskogee, a junior high school student will be disciplined after authorities discovered a handgun in a backpack the student was carrying on Wednesday, the school district said. (Tulsa World)
Astronaut visits OKC school
A former astronaut stopped by Wilson Elementary School in Oklahoma City on Tuesday to talk about space travel and encourage students to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Bryan Duffy, 64, is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and a former NASA astronaut who flew aboard four space shuttle missions.
"I didn't know I was ever going to become an astronaut," Duffy told students. "So for some of you that are here, that think you might want to be an astronaut, you can do it. I wasn't born as an astronaut; it just kind of happens."
ICYMI - An Oklahoma teachers union leader called a teacher strike in 2018 "possible, if not probable.” Read more here.