More Education Of Black History Could Lessen Violence, OK Coach Says
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Green Country coach spent the day outside the Tulsa County Courthouse talking to people about black history.
Coach Scott Patton said he's lost more than a dozen kids to violence, and he believes education could help keep others from meeting the same fate.
He has coached in schools throughout Oklahoma - most recently in Wagoner. He said he's lost 13 students in the past 10 years to violent crimes.
Patton said speaking at a player's funeral and seeing the pain his family was in is one of the many things that inspired his message.
"They hit him in the head, put him in a vacant house, took all his dope from him, and his mom was left out there, and it hurts," he said.
Patton stood outside the Tulsa County Courthouse Monday, discussing the contributions black people have made to our society. He said students are not learning that in school.
"They don't want them to know that Bass Reeves was the only law officer in Oklahoma County or territory, and they made a movie about him called 'The Lone Ranger.' The Lone Ranger's black. He's not white," Patton said.
The coach spoke about how education could teach students how to avoid violent situations and how to deal with police.
"What did you pull me over for? What can I do for you? I'm not gonna ignore them. I'm not gonna turn my back on you. I'm gonna make sure that they know that I'm focused on them like they're focused on me," he said.
Patton said he's been keeping up with protests of officer-involved shootings involving black men. He said if people were taught more about black history, they would have more respect toward black people.
"So that's what we gotta do,” he said. “We gotta go back and help them understand all of it."
Patton said students also need to know the legal system and how to fight for themselves in court.