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Tulsa Teacher Has Ties For Every School Day

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Tom Friday has a different tie for every school day. Tom Friday has a different tie for every school day.
He teaches American History at Edison Middle School. He teaches American History at Edison Middle School.
Patriotic ties are a favorite. Patriotic ties are a favorite.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

How many neckties do you have? Well, Rick Wells heard about a teacher at Edison Middle School who wears a different tie for every day of school. That's 180 at least.

As Rick shows us, to Mr. Friday, yes, that's his real name, a necktie is more than just a necktie.

It's the last week of school and Edison 8th graders are facing part of their final in Mr. Friday's American History class.

The kids are weaving historical events together with the help of a history web. For example, 18 events significant in American history are connected by colored yarn to an item in the room. The Sugar Act of 1754 - connected to a jar of molasses.

Tom Friday has been a teacher for 37 years. He retired at least once. He's here for three reasons: great school, great parents, great kids.

"I have no excuses to fail, no sir," he said.

Mr Friday always wears a tie. There are no casual Fridays. He's got a different one for every school day. That's like 180 ties.

"This, of course, is the one I've worn the longest. It's the first day of school," he said, indicating a stars and stripes tie. He's got history ties, a flag for patriotic holidays - and Tuesday's tie has a student ready for summer.

"We only have three days left of school, this is where they are," he said.

So each tie has a purpose, a vehicle to maybe send a message and keep the students engaged. It's more than just a necktie.

He brought one for me.

"For a man who could develop a story about ties - needs all the luck he can get," said Mr. Friday, Edison Middle School teacher.

But Mr. Friday - a story about a teacher and his ties is as much about the teacher as the ties. So I had a good subject and don't need the luck - but thanks for the tie.

The last day of school for Mr Friday and his neckties is Thursday. Then it'll be time to get the ties all re-arranged for next school year.

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