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Langston Hughes Academy looks to replace football with farming in fight to keep doors open

Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 19:19:52-04

TULSA, Okla. — Langston Hughes Academy is looking at new possibilities just three months before the charter school loses accreditation.

Now the North Tulsa charter school is expanding a farming program, saying grants and sponsors could keep the campus alive.

"Grow the seeds, sell the seeds, market it so that we can sell it. So that's our whole purpose in what we're doing.The farmer project is to teach the community where we don't have businesses, we're in a food desert... how to sustain a business and do that starting from a seed," Assistant Principal Heather Nash said.

The state got involved after teachers self-reported issues they saw last year, like grade tampering. What followed was a fresh administrative team. The assistant principal said she doesn't believe they were given a fair shot.

"My frustration was we couldn't continue this because we were spending so much time trying to save the school on the inside... when the outside was actually what was supposed to sustain us in the first place," Nash said.

To make the farming program happen, they're eliminating the football practice space. With it, the team could soon be gone too. But players said they're rather lose the field over the school altogether.

"We feel like it's a good environment to come into teachers asking how your day's going. Not every teacher cares about a student. The teachers here care about the students that go here. So I feel like it's a good program and it needs to stay open," DaQuan Robinson said.

Langston Hughes staff said with this new model, they're looking for another sponsor to make up for the lack of state accreditation. At this point, they're feeling optimistic.

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