Morning Bell: Once homeless, student inspires others
Good Thursday morning! If you haven't read it already, check out Tim Willert's piece on a student who was formerly homeless, but is now returning to his former school to inspire students who are without a home.
David Berry, 18, carries a message of hope every time he volunteers at Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless children in Oklahoma City.
Berry, 18, a senior at Classen School of Advanced Studies, was once homeless just like the kids he mentors twice a week.
He was 10 when his parents got evicted and the family lived in a homeless shelter. During that time, his mother gave birth to a sister and his father committed a crime and was sent to prison.
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"I remember longing for attention, and wanting to get away from what I felt was negative," he recalled Tuesday. "I remember sometimes passing on meals at Salvation Army and instead wanting to eat at Positive Tomorrows."
You can read the story here.
I'm at the Education Writers Association national conference in Los Angeles and last night was the awards banquet. Jennifer Palmer of Oklahoma Watch was a finalist for best single topic story with her article on school seclusion rooms. It was a worthy finalist and you can read it here.
Also at the EWA conference, Ed Allen, president of the AFT of Oklahoma City, was on a panel to discuss the Oklahoma teacher walkout. He talked about the challenge of union leadership clashing with a movement being staged on social media.
“What we’ve learned is that unions don’t know how to talk to the folks on Facebook, and the folks on Facebook don't know how to talk to unions," Allen said. “Somehow unions have to figure out ... how we blend the strengths of social media and the organizational skills of unions to make a bigger stronger movement.”
North Carolina was the latest state to experience a teacher walkout. Downtown Raleigh filled Wednesday with thousands of teachers who marched in the morning and rallied in the afternoon rain as they demanded that lawmakers do more to raise teacher pay and education spending in North Carolina, reported the News & Observer.
Students scramble for credits
Some students at McLoud High School are in a last minute scramble to finish all the credits they need to graduate, and they say they found out they didn't have the credits later than they should have, in some cases, in the past of couple weeks, reports KFOR.
OKC teacher arrested
Oklahoma City police on Wednesday arrested an elementary school teacher on suspicion of sexual battery, The Oklahoman has learned.
Kiera Monique Smith, 34, is a teacher at Martin Luther King Elementary in northeast Oklahoma City. She was being held Wednesday in the Oklahoma County Jail on $5,000 bail, jail records show. Oklahoma City Public Schools issued a statement that said "district teams are fully cooperating with authorities."
Have a great Thursday!