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Gerbils to power Tulsa Public Schools and other stuff you shouldn't have to read

An annotated guide to TPS cutbacks

In light of our state’s recent accounting whoopsie (we need close to a billion bucks and the free market hasn’t worked it out yet), Tulsa Public Schools has been tasked (again) with streamlining its budget. The following is an incomplete list of what to expect in the coming school year.

Twenty-six fewer non-teaching positions. Some people think that being a teacher in Oklahoma is the worst job in the world. In reality, our state’s teachers share this distinction with their non-teaching colleagues, like security personnel and administrators who somehow have to make do with a $12 million budget cut. (Losing that job must be like the sweet release of death at the end of a long, horrible illness.) The good news is that most of these jobs are already unfilled. The bad news is that cutting those jobs doesn’t save money.

Fewer lights. Teachers will be asked to identify hallways and staircases with no security cameras and shut off the lights there. We know, we know—it sounds like they’re just creating spaces where kids can get beaten up. But since that’s basically what most public schools are these days, and school policies on bullying generally just cover the school’s ass at the expense of the victim—why lie to ourselves? It’s better to be incompetent and honest than incompetent and dishonest.

Teachers will now buy their own school supplies. Wait, they’ve already been doing that for years. Shoot.

No more fire alarms. The kids only ever use them for the wrong reasons and those buildings are, like, 99 percent asbestos anyway. 

Until now, all schools have been heated by thousands of hamsters running on wheels hooked up to a single generator from Kmart. Hamsters will now be replaced by gerbils, which are more cost effective.

Schools will now teach safe sex so there’s not so many damn kids around the next time this happens. 

Okay, the last ones weren’t real. You couldn’t tell, right? Or did you go to TPS?

Bitch-ass kids who can’t afford food apparently don’t want to be bullied either

Several Oklahoma school districts have recently drawn criticism for their handling of outstanding student lunch debts. Some students, whose accounts showed that they had no money left in said accounts, had their hot lunches thrown in the trash in front of them, while others were stamped on the hand as a visible reminder to their parents to pay up.

Look, kids, the way this works is very simple: school meal programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has recently asked Oklahoma (and the rest of the 50 states) to come up with their own lunch policies by July 1. 

Obviously that isn’t going happen, because 1) we are broke as shit and 2) it’s not like there are gonna be any consequences for our state legislators. 

So now, Oklahoma’s already underfunded school districts get to manage feeding their students, paying for it, while figuring out how to keep the lights on. Expecting anyone in office to take responsibility at any point in that process would amount to a radical upheaval of our political system. Considering this, it makes perfect sense to shame kids for not being able to pay. 

It’s not society’s fault poor kids can’t pass the buck any further!

Ralph Shortey accidentally becomes first publicly gay Republican Oklahoma legislator, makes history

Sure, he wasn’t exactly outed on his own terms, since the cops found him in a hotel room with a bunch of drugs, lotion, condoms, and a 17-year-old boy. And fine, maybe he resigned in disgrace because he was paying a high school kid for sex, or whatever. And yeah, okay, fine, his political career is over, since trying to run as a gay Republican would be like trying to join the SS with a big gold star on your jacket. But, hey! Baby steps. 

Good news for exploitative reporters

40th anniversary of Girl Scout Murders approaches

It was a calm evening in a campground just outside of the sleepy burg of Locust Grove—the sort of time and place that, had you been there as a child, you might dream of in your twilight years—remembering toasting marshmallows, catching frogs, or seeing the primal dance of the firefly over the prairie and feeling the stirrings of something wild and beautiful in your own soul. It was the sort of time and place that we all want for our own kids,  memories we would never trade in spite of the pain we feel when we let our guard down and allow them to return.

Well, unless you were there on July 13, 1977, in which case you probably just remember those three Girl Scouts being murdered and don’t want to relive that horrific
experience. But we’re coming up on the 40th anniversary, so that’s not gonna stop the media from finding you. If anyone sticks a microphone in your face, just ask them what more they need before they’ll let the girls rest in peace.