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According to NY Magazine, for the first time Oklahoma’s Education Department is adding the 1921 Tulsa race massacre to its curriculum.

State Senator Kevin Matthews describing the 99-year-old massacre as “Tulsa’s dirty secret.” Reportedly students from elementary through high school will now be required to learn about the moment in Oklahoma’s history starting this fall.

A pilot program put together by Tulsa Public Schools has provided the blueprint for how the incident will be taught and will assist administrators in developing tools and resources to ensure that teachers are comfortable teaching it.

Until now, many felt that lessons about the massacre have been inconsistent in that the curriculum was taught by only a select few schools.

“What we want to ensure is that…we are teaching [at] a grade-appropriate level those facts that have not been taught in a way they should have been taught in Oklahoma,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said at a news conference on Wednesday. “This is…our history and we should know it.”

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said that going forward, the question is “how we can use this horrible tragedy to instruct and inform and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
“This isn’t something that you just read about in history books and think that’s something that happened 100 years ago, it can never happen again,” he said at the news conference. “That’s exactly what people in 1921 in Tulsa probably thought too.”


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