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Leadership Tulsa conducts TPS community info session

Tulsa Changemakers TPS.png
Posted at 6:19 PM, Sep 05, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Changemakers, a youth-focused wing of Leadership Tulsa, held a parent-student info session Tuesday to educate on the current situation surrounding Tulsa Public Schools.

Organizers with the group said they saw an opportunity amid the turmoil in Tulsa Public Schools stemming from attacks from State Superintendent Ryan Walters about district performance. This led to the resignation of district superintendent Deborah Gist and the controversy around the district’s accreditation.

“We wanted to provide a space, really for folks to come learn and listen. Because some folks, you talk to them and they’re like, ‘I don’t know what’s going on.’ and some folks knew a lot,” Project Manager Rachel Humphrey told 2 News.

Humphrey said the group saw a successful first try earlier this year in a short discussion with just TPS students.

“And then this time we found that there was a need for the adults to come together in our community with youth,” Humphrey added.

For some, Tuesday's session was about learning basic facts from the uproar.

What stood out for Heather Hope and her daughter Margaret were data points they said point to where the district might struggle.

Impact Tulsa gave us some maps of absenteeism, maps of transportation access for the students,” Hope said. “And it would be nice for the state school board to know that that information is out there and it might help them understand what’s going on in the community, and maybe they can help come up with solutions instead of just lobbing bombs and criticizing the district.”

8th grader Margaret Hope-Hernandez said the lessons learned Tuesday will help her shape her own role in the district.

“For me personally it helps me understand why certain things are so important and why these things are happening,” she said.

“We know that when we bring together people from different perspectives, different ages, really great things can happen whether it’s just listening to someone who has a different perspective or all of you learning something new,” Humphrey said.

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