An Oklahoma teacher advocate stands at the heels of the Oklahoma capital in protest for unprecedented cuts to education and a controversial funding bill, which was signed by early this week by Gov. Mary Fallen. Her sign elevates the correlation between educational funding to a state’s mass incarceration ranking.
Opinion By Nehemiah D. Frank
Oklahoma students consistently perform below nearly every other state in the nation, and I imagine that this year’s test scores will be lower due to unreasonable state legislators who have seemingly sworn their loyalty to oil and gas corporations. Considering last year’s average test score ranks Oklahoma at 49th in the nation for Pre-K through 12-grade education, we can literally hear the chains clanging against the floor as the new arrivals — former students — stroll into Oklahoma prisons. Our state ranks 2nd highest in the nation for incarceration and 1st in the world for incarcerated women.
Photo Credit | Timantha Norman
Yes! The school-to-prison pipeline in Oklahoma is in full effect because state legislators cannot ask the simple question “What would Jesus do?”
Sadly, Jesus has evidently skipped the bible-belt because Oklahoma legislators remained unteachable.
For a state that boasted so much patriotic pride upon the onset of President Donald Trump’s so-called historic win, their disturbing behavior is downright unpatriotic.
The nation’s founding fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, knew that public education lies at the heart of democracy. John Adams stated “The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it…There should not be a district of one-square-mile, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”
These unpatriotic fools will call out Colin Kaepernick and the rest of BLACK American football players to the quickness every time they take knee on the field, but fail to commit to the number one patriotic task that our forefathers felt was important — funding public education.
Now, overworked and underpaid teachers swarm the Oklahoma capitol like agitated bees for a week angered by criminal politicians.
Photo Credit | Timantha Norman
Cold politicians are literally stealing from the minds and mouths of children and are worthy of a lockup; if parents are sent to jail for not paying child support, legislators should be sent to prison for not doing what is morally right — properly funding public education.
Their unpatriotic acts will inevitably raise the crime rate within the state and provoke an all-out revolution that will not end well for elected officials who choose to be on the wrong side of history.
Teachers and allies will continue to “peacefully” target elected officials, politicians who have chosen to trade their conservative, “Christian” values for crumbs.
The state testing season began Monday, and the only students taking state exams are wealthy private school students who are the sons and daughters of the oil and gas corporate giants. Hence, their children have not skipped a beat during the teacher walkout.
Oklahomans, we are in the Dark Ages.
But, hope remains.
We have the people, and we hold the vote.
And people plus votes equal power!
Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder & Executive Editor of the Black Wall St. Times. Frank graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL in General Studies, and earned a Political Science degree from Oklahoma State University. He is highly involved in community activism, a middle school teacher at Sankofa School of the Performing Arts, a blogger for Education Post, and dedicates most of his time to empowering and uplifting his community of North Tulsa, home of America’s Black Wall Street. Frank is a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation Honoree and the Community Impact Award for the MET Cares Foundation and has been featured on NBC, Blavity, and Tulsa People. Frank recently gave a TEDx Talk at the University of Tulsa.