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Quotes of the Day

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“Of the 106 mental health providers that serve students, there are only five that exist west of Oklahoma City metro area. Only five.”

-State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, speaking about why her department is using federal grant funding to address students’ mental health needs in Western Oklahoma [Public Radio Tulsa]

“That’s the journey, but you’ve got to magnify that unfortunately not times 10 kids, but times hundreds of thousands of kids that are in that category, which requires a complete rebuild of the educational system to turn it into trauma-informed education.”

-Alex Gwinn, president of the Alliance for HOPE International, speaking at a summit to help Oklahoma educators better understand and mitigate the impact of childhood trauma [NewsOK]

“If half of us vote in November, politicians will sit up and take notice, because even the most entrenched insiders fear losing elections. We want our state’s leaders to fear our voting power because they won’t consider us if they don’t.”

-University of Oklahoma student Ben White, writing about why young Oklahomans should vote [NonDoc]

Reducing the state’s uninsured rate increases productivity and tax revenue; it improves public health, makes rural hospitals more financially viable and makes urban hospitals more efficient. Everyone has a stake in improving this situation.

-Tulsa World Editorial Board, on the importance of addressing Oklahoma’s high uninsured rate [Tulsa World]

“Last year’s flu season numbers were dangerously high. We hope to spread the message about the serious importance of getting vaccinated to protect you and your loved ones.”

Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Health Department, which is offering free flu shots at several locations in Tulsa County [KWGS]

“DHS’ own records present, with an overwhelming and compounding amount of detail, the unacceptably high level of risk and unsafe conditions created by placing together in one facility so many children with significant and complex needs and behaviors without ensuring an appropriate level of staff, training and organizational and programmatic management and oversight.”

-Court-ordered monitors of Oklahoma’s child welfare system discussing their order to close the state’s only remaining child shelter, which discharged its last resident in June [Tulsa World]

“While most women admitted to jails are accused of minor crimes, the consequences of pretrial incarceration can be devastating. This report finds that jailed mothers often feel an added, and unique, pressure to plead guilty so that they can return home to parent their children and resume their lives. These mothers face difficulties keeping in touch with their children due to restrictive jail visitation policies and costly telephone and video calls. Some risk losing custody of their children because they are not informed of, or transported to, key custody proceedings. Once released from jail, they are met with extensive fines, fees, and costs that can impede getting back on their feet and regaining custody of their children.”

– Human Rights Watch report on the lasting harm of jailing mothers before trial in Oklahoma [HRW]

“We are a poor state and we are a state with rich resources. But we have not provided the right combination of opportunity and investment to have healthy communities, strong families and well educated kids. We want kids to have a competitive edge but it is only going to happen with resources.”

-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister [Stillwater News Press]

“What Chief Citty and the city council have done today is said, it’s time to really think about our marijuana policy and move into the future that the country is moving toward. This is the path of least resistance at this point. The people of Oklahoma and their adoption of State Question 780 and their most recent adoption of State Question 788 have said over and over again, listen…we want reform.”

-Allie Shinn, Deputy Director of the ACLU, speaking about the Oklahoma City Council’s vote to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession to a maximum $400 fine and to stop booking people into jail for marijuana possession [KFOR]

“We really expect to get more calls and see more people come through our doors. If only one person in Tulsa sees this and comes to us or calls our crisis line, it will be worth 1,000 times the effort that we put into this.”

-Donna Mathews, chief operating officer of Domestic Violence Intervention Services, who said more women have been reaching out to DVIS in recent weeks, encouraged by support being shown to Christine Blasey Ford. [Tulsa World]

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