Teaching Local Educators About The Tulsa Race Riots

Monday, June 11th 2018, 5:13 am
By: Joseph Holloway

Some Tulsa teachers are spending the week learning about the Tulsa Race Riot so they can teach their students about it.

They said it’s a part of our history students need to know, but many said they had never learned about it growing up.

"I attended Carver Middle School and my teachers there knew a lot about it and they talked a lot about it, so I was shocked when I went to Edison in high school and a lot of kids there had never even heard of it," Edison teacher Shreeta Ashley said.

As a result, Ashley said many teachers never bring it up.

"A lot of teachers would brush over it because they didn't know what happened or they don't feel confident about what happened here to really say anything about it," she said.

Nearly 50 Tulsa Public Schools teachers are involved in the Tulsa Race Massacre Institute at Wilson Teaching and Learning Academy. They're learning about the riot, then, district leaders say they'll create lesson plans to teach students about it.

2/20/2018 Related Story: Tulsa Race Riot Centennial Commission Unveils New School Curriculum

"Think about how we tell the truth about what happened in 1921, how we honor the families and individuals who suffered that tragedy, and then how we learn from that and how we heal from that as Tulsans in our future," said Danielle Neves with TPS.

Ashley said her students are already starting to learn about the massacre. She believes when every student knows what happened, they'll gain a better perspective of the city.

"They have more understanding of why Tulsa looks the way it does and where that pattern started," Ashley said.

District leaders said they plan to expand the institute in the coming years.