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Morning Bell: Inspiring students to pursue a college degree

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Yukon Middle School 6th Grade Academy geography teacher, Daniel Griswold, poses for a photo with principal Diana Lebsack in his classroom filled with college swag he has collected to inspire students to pursue higher education in Yukon, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Yukon Middle School 6th Grade Academy geography teacher, Daniel Griswold, poses for a photo with principal Diana Lebsack in his classroom filled with college swag he has collected to inspire students to pursue higher education in Yukon, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Good Monday morning. Scary stuff last week as authorities reportedly thwarted an alleged plot for a mass shooting and double suicide at Pawnee Public Schools. The Tulsa World reports that law enforcement officers arrested two juveniles on last week following a tip that they planned to carry out a mass shooting at Pawnee Public Schools before killing themselves.

Schools across the country are opening their doors to students for the start of the new year with a heightened focus on security intended to ease fears about deadly campus shootings, reports the New York Times

The power of college swag

If your a student stepping into Daniel Griswold's sixth-grade classroom you will be greeted by colorful pennants and posters from more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities.

Griswold came to Yukon Middle School four years ago to teach geography, but wanted to do more for his students, reports The Oklahoman's Kathryn McNutt

Geography, he decided, was the perfect subject to promote the idea that education doesn't end with high school.

He recalled how Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Oklahoma City had decorated the cafeteria with college items, and began requesting anything that colleges were willing to donate.

"We love this idea," said Brian Dunn, of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, which sent pennants, wristbands and stickers. "We hope our contribution helps inspire these students to pursue a college degree."

Achille school responds to social media threats

LGBTQ advocates are expressing support for a female student in a small southeastern Oklahoma school district following a series of threatening social media posts made by parents and other members of the community. 

The local superintendent said the social media posts do not represent the school district. 

In now removed posts on an Achille school district parents group Facebook page, dozens of derogatory statements and threats were made against a female middle school student who is transgender. I wrote about the incident yesterday, which you can read here

Former governor stands by comments on remedial classes

Former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating is standing by comments made at a Tulsa meeting, suggesting the University of Oklahoma should not admit students who need remedial classes.

"We shouldn’t, in my judgement, take people who are not ready for college," Keating told News 4 on Thursday.

"A third of the students at OU who come through the door need to be re-mediated. That has to be paid for. That is a waste of time for the state to play any role in spending taxpayer money for that. If young people are not ready for OU, then they’re not ready for OU," Keating told the news station in a follow-up interview.

Owasso High receives aerospace grant

Owasso High School was recently approved to receive an Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), reports the Tulsa World

The school was among 28 organizations that received funding totaling nearly $297,000 from OAC, which will be used to expose more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.

Starr Wilson, OHS science teacher and science department chair, recently applied for the grant to put toward her aeronautics class that she’s been teaching over the last year and received it last Thursday.

Former superintendent wins CareerTech award

Bruce DeMuth, former superintendent of Pioneer Technology Center in Ponca City, was honored with Oklahoma CareerTech's top award during the annual Career and Technology Education Summer Conference held Aug. 1-2 in Oklahoma City.

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

Related Photos
Yukon Middle School 6th Grade Academy geography teacher, Daniel Griswold, poses for a photo with principal Diana Lebsack in his classroom filled with college swag he has collected to inspire students to pursue higher education in Yukon, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Yukon Middle School 6th Grade Academy geography teacher, Daniel Griswold, poses for a photo with principal Diana Lebsack in his classroom filled with college swag he has collected to inspire students to pursue higher education in Yukon, Okla. on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Photo by Chris...

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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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