Mustang Middle School Hosts OKC Thunder/OKC Memorial “Oklahoma Standard” Assembly
(Mustang, Oklahoma – January 30, 2020) – Kindness, Service, and Honor: The Oklahoma Standard. On Thursday morning, students at Mustang Middle School (MMS) walked into their morning assembly and were greeted by the OKC Thunder Drummers, exhibits from the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Museum, The Thunder Storm Chasers, and a host of dignitaries and guests. MMS was selected as the only school in the state for this special assembly because of their reputation of “extraordinary students,” and the students did not disappoint.
The assembly was opened by Michelle Matthews, Manager of Youth Basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder. She explained to students that they were about to have “an opportunity to learn a little more about the tragedy that took place almost 25 years ago and how we are looking to continue telling the story of that day through our 2019-20 City Edition [Thunder] uniform.” After giving the students 2 minutes to come up with a creative handshake with their neighbor, Matthews related the bond that had just been formed with the bonds formed from 9:01am-9:03am on April 19, 1995. “Through the 2019-20 City Edition Thunder uniform, we strive to honor the 168 victims that died, and the survivors and brave first responders, which showcased the resiliency of Oklahoma City to the world,” she continued. Before concluding, she introduced the first lady of Oklahoma during the 1995 tragedy, Cathy Keating.
Frank and Cathy Keating were in their first 100 days of office as Oklahoma Governor and First Lady when a bomb destroyed part of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Recently, she and the former Governor authored a children's book titled, Love Won: The Oklahoma Standard. The book, out in April, shares the amazing stories of how everyday citizens exemplified the Oklahoma Standard in the face of this great tragedy. Mrs. Keating shared several of those stories with those on hand, including the construction worker who donated the steel-toes boots off of his feet to the rescue workers; the first responder from out of town who recounted coming to Oklahoma City with a dollar in his pocket, and leaving with that same dollar because Oklahomans showed such appreciation that they would not let him pay for a thing; and the backstory of the healing bear(s), donated donated by a department store chain and sent by Brenda Edgar, the wife of former Gov. Jim Edgar of Illinois.
“Most of our students were born in 2005 or 2006,” said MMS Principal, Ramae Collins. “They do not remember this defining moment in American History, so we are so thankful to the Thunder and the Memorial for bringing this assembly to us and bringing history to life.” Mrs. Keating adeptly acknowledged this fact by opening her comments and asking everyone to “raise [their] hand if they could remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news about Kobe Bryant….” She went on to challenge students to be the next generation of the Oklahoma Standard. “What do you want to be remembered by,” she asked. “Kindness trumps hate. I challenge you to do one act of kindness today. And keep in mind, the Oklahoma Standard does not stop when you go online. It's just as easy to put a kind comment rather than a statement of hate.” Students were given Kindness Cards and rubber bracelets as they left the assembly and were asked to write down something nice about someone else or use the cards to spread kindness.
As the assembly concluded, a student approached Mrs. Keating and handed her a Kindness Card. “Thank you for coming to our school today,” wrote seventh grade student Payton Bullington. “It really means a lot to me; the bombing made a big impact on the world.” That day in April 1995 set off a chain of events that coined The Oklahoma Standard - selflessness, tenderness, kindness, generosity - Service. Honor. Kindness. “No act of kindness, regardless of how small, is ever wasted,” Collins said. “Payton understands that, and we join with the Thunder and the Memorial in hoping to spread that message to the next generation of Oklahomans, and beyond.”
About Mustang Public Schools
The Mustang Public School District covers over 72 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,000 certified and support employees. Voted one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces for the past two years, the school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.
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