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The Morning Bell: Elected to the board without a single vote

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Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Good Monday morning!

There's a good chance you never got to vote for your school board member, at least not in the most recent election. 

Since 2014, just 32 percent of school board seats in the state's 12 largest school districts featured a competitive race with at least two candidates on the ballot.

The districts of Broken Arrow, Mid-Del and Norman didn't hold a single competitive election during that time frame.

"It's a volunteer position and you have to have a real heart for your school and community to do it," said Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. "It can be difficult to get someone to put their name on a ballot for a position that is voluntary."

I recently wrote about the trend of uncontested races for many school board seats, including some that fail to draw any candidates. 

School names will change

Although hundreds of people voted to keep the names of Confederate leaders on three elementary schools, Oklahoma City School Board members said it won't matter.

"It doesn't mean anything. The decision's made, and the names are going to be changed," member Mark Mann said. "The encouraging thing is there are a lot of good names, a lot of people who are worthy of having a school named after them."

In an anonymous online survey 1,100 people weighed in on possible replacement names for Jackson, Lee and Stand Watie elementary schools in south Oklahoma City. The Oklahoman's Tim Willert has more

John Rex parent protest

Several parents at John Rex Charter Elementary School in Oklahoma City gathered last Friday to call on former Mayor Kirk Humphreys to resign as chairman of the school's board.

"He does not and should not represent me and my child," parent Maggie Howell-Dowd told reporters at a gathering across the street from the school in downtown Oklahoma City.

Humphreys, also vice chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, has been taken to task for comments he made during a talk show that aired last week. 

Bixby timeline

The Tulsa World's Andrea Eger has been on top of the investigation into rape by instrumentation allegations at Bixby High School. This weekend she had a timeline of events that are worth catching yourself up on.

Eger also reports that the Bixby school board appears poised to decide the fate of top administrators this week.

Vinita coach in critical condition

The Vinita High School softball community is reeling after the news that the school’s head coach was shot multiple times Friday night, reports the Tulsa World

Jason Sauer was reportedly involved in a verbal altercation with local attorney Karl Jones at a home on East 277th Street in Vinita when Jones, 57, allegedly shot Sauer several times, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

High turnover with sports officials

A staggering 80 percent of high school referees across the country do not return after their second year, reports EnidNews.com

There are several reasons why the drop in officials is occurring, such as  pay, undesirable time commitment, and run-ins with parents and coaches.

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Monday!

Related Photos
Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.  Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-780bcab08288a6b3855b1af4ce4ff0b5.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma City School Board member Ruth Veales speaks about DACA during a school board meeting in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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