Tulsa Charter School Helps At Risk Youth Aim For Success
TULSA, Oklahoma - Inside every Langston Hughes Academy classroom, you'll find students wearing suit jackets and ties studying.
Tammie Roberson is one of 90 freshmen in the academy's inaugural class.
"We're trying to change the reputation of getting told we're bad and that we're horrible and we're not going to amount to anything when we get older,” explained Roberson.
When Superintendent Dr. Rodney Clark developed the concept for the school these students are the ones he had in mind.
"Our whole community in terms of north Tulsa is at risk and that is at risk of not having the things necessary in order to be successful in the years to come in terms of education," Clark explained.
The school's motto: Changing the Perception.
"We focus on a lot of students who have had disciplinary problems in the past,” said Clark. “We don't' do a lot of suspensions, but we try to work with the problem."
They teach the students that their circumstances don't dictate how far they can go. They drill in ideas like respect for parents and police every morning at school assemblies.
"Our teachers make sure we understand that we are great and that we're going to be good when we get older," said Secerio Arkinson, a student at the academy.
When Arkinson started at the academy he struggled, often making D's and F's, but not anymore.
"It's amazing, especially for my family,” said Arkinson.
The arts and technology are a big part of the school’s success.
Just last week, the debate team also won first place overall.