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Walters’ Pound of Flesh
John Neal, All-Black Towns, Black Towns, Oklahoma Black Towns, Historic Black Towns, Gary Lee, M. David Goodwin, James Goodwin, Ross Johnson, Sam Levrault, Kimberly Marsh, African American News, Black News, African American Newspaper, Black Owned Newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, The Eagle, Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
John Neal, All-Black Towns, Black Towns, Oklahoma Black Towns, Historic Black Towns, Gary Lee, M. David Goodwin, James Goodwin, Ross Johnson, Sam Levrault, Kimberly Marsh, African American News, Black News, African American Newspaper, Black Owned Newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, The Eagle, Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Walters’ Pound of Flesh

  • After months of accusations of being affiliated with a ‘terrorist organization’, recasting the historic sins of Oklahoma during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, banning school library books and championing a history curriculum that prioritizes ‘feelings’ over a fact-based education, it appears that Walters has secured the ‘pound of flesh’ he desired.
Deborah Gist, Gist, Ryan Walters, Kevin Stitt, Tulsa Public Schools, TPS, School Takeover, Gary Lee, M. David Goodwin, James Goodwin, Ross Johnson, Sam Levrault, Kimberly Marsh, African American News, Black News, African American Newspaper, Black Owned Newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, The Eagle, Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

The direct import of Dr. Deborah A. Gist’s letter to Tulsa Public Schools’ employees is clear as written. The midday letter reflects the superintendent’s decision to ‘step aside,’ away from her current role and her commitment to district parents, students and educators. 

Days prior to the much-anticipated Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting, scheduled for Aug. 24, where the fate of TPS’s accreditation will be determined, Tulsans must now consider how the sudden shift in school board leadership will impact the education of their children. 

Gist’s decision, captured in one-page, appears to have been authored after significant consideration of the district’s year-long public battle with Ryan Walters, the state’s superintendent of Public Instruction.  

Walters’ choler and charged rhetoric against Gist and TPS board members reflects a political-gain-at-all-cost culture unrestrained by an objective view of facts, an obligation to sway opinion with a comprehensive articulation of facts and a duty to lead civil discourse. 

After months of accusations of being affiliated with a ‘terrorist organization’, recasting the historic sins of Oklahoma during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, banning school library books and championing a history curriculum that prioritizes ‘feelings’ over a fact-based education, it appears that Walters has secured the ‘pound of flesh’ he desired. 

Gist’s announcement suggests an outcome only possible as a result of an agreement between the state and district. “Doing so offers the best chance for control of our schools to remain in Tulsa,” she noted. How Gist arrived at this conclusion was not explained. Further, what precedent has now been established that such threats to local authority are an effective means to ousting elected officials? 

See Also
Jennettie Marshall, John Croisant, KanDee Washington, Maria Seidler, Calvin Moniz, Sarah Smith, Teresa Pena, Tulsa Public Schools, All-Black Towns, Black Towns, Oklahoma Black Towns, Historic Black Towns, Gary Lee, M. David Goodwin, James Goodwin, Ross Johnson, Sam Levrault, Kimberly Marsh, John Neal, African American News, Black News, African American Newspaper, Black Owned Newspaper, The Oklahoma Eagle, The Eagle, Black Wall Street, Tulsa Race Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Are Tulsans entitled to local leadership that provides students with the highest quality education possible? Yes. 

Should local leadership be accountable to parents, students and educators? Yes 

Should state officials leverage their positions to foment the significant measure of unrest experienced in Tulsa today? No. 

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