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Parents Push For More Family Involvement in OKCPS
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- Hundreds gathered Sunday for a special forum with candidates for the Oklahoma City Public Schools' Board of Trustees. The accountability session opened with stories from parents and teachers concerned with the direction of the community.
Verena Hooks of Divine Wisdom Worship was the first person who took the floor. Hooks' shared the story of her oldest son, who died in 2004, one year after his release from prison.
"Before his downward spiral, he was an honors student while attending Douglass High School," said Hooks.
Hooks says her son's downward spiral began after he got into a fight on campus. Instead of referring him to counselors, administrators expelled Hooks' son from Douglass High School.
"When he was kicked out of school, no one called me to meet up there with them," Hooks recalled.
Hooks' story emphasized the importance of parent-teacher communication, and keeping families engaged in their children's education, a reason why 500 people filled the pews inside Saint John's Missionary Baptist Church for the special forum.
"Public schools have a number of problems," said Sundra Flansburg, with Voices Organized in Civic Engagement, a group that organized the session, "they're not easily solved."
As each board candidate took the floor, many pledged their commitment to keeping families in the loop.
"We have got to bring cooperation to everyone," said Lynn Hardin, a candidate for OKCPS Chair, "so that everyone is at the table and we find a way to mend this broken system."
Angela Monson, Chairwoman of the OKCPS Board of Trustees says school administrators can not be left alone to decide what's best for the children.
"We must have parents, we must have community leaders, with that principal what is in the best interest of the children," she emphasized.
As election day approaches, Hooks says all school board candidates must maintain an open dialogue with the families they represent.
"We have to work together to raise our children," she said.
Election day is Tuesday.
Posted: Sunday, February 10 2013, 09:59 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Okla. court upholds life sentence in uncle's death
May 17, 2013 21:34 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- An Oklahoma appeals court has upheld the life prison sentence of a 38-year-old man who was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting his uncle to death.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals handed down the decision Friday in the case of Patrick Shane Yargee. A jury in Tulsa County found Yargee guilty in the 2010 shooting death of 48-year-old David Willie Harjo.
Authorities alleged that Yargee shot Harjo eight times in a residence in northern Tulsa. Reports filed in the case indicate that the two men had an argument involving a woman before the shooting.
The five-judge court unanimously rejected Yargee's claims that he was denied a fair trial.
Yargee's defense attorney, Stuart Southerland of the Tulsa County Public Defender's Office, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
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