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Morning Bell: After the Walkout series coming Sunday

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Good Friday morning! Oklahoma students are in the process of starting a new school year, the first new school year since the state’s public education system was rocked by a two-week teacher walkout. While the historic demonstration promises to impact a generation of students, it also put a spotlight on challenges that remain in schools across the state. 

Starting this Sunday in The Oklahoman, I'll have a four-part series exploring the impact the walkout had on Oklahoma’s public education system and where schools go from here. 

Be sure to pick up a copy of Sunday's paper, and the next three days after to follow along. 

Ada delays votes on marijuana policy

The Ada Board of Education delayed action Monday on a proposed medical marijuana policy, giving district officials more time to research the issue, reports the Ada News

Officials had recommended adopting the Oklahoma State School Boards Association’s proposed policy on the subject, but the school board decided to wait until the September meeting, Superintendent Mike Anderson said Tuesday.

“I’ve had some conversations with the OSSBA’s attorneys and while their advice has been that no revisions need to be made to our existing policies, I still want to examine that question a little further,” he said.

Thursday was a difficult day for multiple schools that dealt with threats and a stabbing in a series of unrelated events. 

At Luther High School, a 14-year-old girl was stabbed repeatedly by a classmate during an assembly on the first day of class.

"Everybody is baffled," Luther police Chief David Randall said. "He just stood up and started what looked like was punching her, but he was stabbing her."

The names of the victim and the 14-year-old boy who stabbed her were not released Thursday.

Her condition was not available Thursday, but Randall said the girl was conscious and talking after surgery.

Oklahoma County sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande said the stabbing occurred about 8:15 a.m. when the boy stood up during an assembly in the school's performing arts center and stabbed the girl five or more times. The girl was flown by helicopter to OU Medical Center. 

The Oklahoma School for the Deaf shut down their campus after receiving a threatening phone call.  Just after 12:20 p.m. Thursday, officials received the phone call which threatened “grave danger” to anyone associated with a school employee unless the school fired the unnamed employee within 48 hours, according to a news release.

The school immediately notified the Sulphur Police Department about the threat. Police then contacted the FBI to investigate.

School officials said they think the threat is related to a series of social media posts, phone calls and emails that allege a family member of the school employee made negative statements about a transgender student at Achille Independent Schools.

Police arrested two men suspected of making threats against Alcott Middle School in Norman, officials said. Ryan Nathaniel Tripp, 21, and Michael Shane Mahseet, 28, were arrested about 1 a.m. Thursday near the intersection of State Highway 9 and 24th Avenue SW, on complaints of conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, according to a police spokeswoman.

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

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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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