Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Oklahoma City Public Schools considers naming new administration building after Clara Luper

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education is considering renaming the district’s administrative offices after a civil rights leader and former teacher.

Clara Luper was a former teacher and was a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Langston University, and became the first African-American student in the graduate history program at the University of Oklahoma.

In 1958, Luper led the Oklahoma City sit-in movement at drugstores and restaurants, which helped end segregation policies in the downtown area. She also participated in the 1963 March on Washington to see Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches.

Now, the Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education is considering naming the new administrative building after Luper.

“Clara Luper is a national treasure in the fight for civil rights for all Americans and her leadership in the 1958 OKC Sit-In Movement was the first and longest recorded in U.S. History,” said Charles Henry, Board Member representing District 1. “It will be a well-deserved honor for the OKCPS Board, the City of Oklahoma City, and State of Oklahoma, to have the new administration building named after her.”

“I feel honored, elated and proud. My mother dedicated her life to education, always calling her students her ‘diamonds’. She believed that all children could learn, and she took time to find different ways to teach and more importantly to reach each one of them,” said Marilyn Luper Hildreth, Clara Luper’s daughter. “She used to say ‘I want you to go places I’ve never been and dream the dreams I’ve never dreamed — and the only way you can do it is through education.’ She touched the lives of so many people here in Oklahoma City, in our state and even our nation. I’m so grateful that the OKCPS Board of Education is considering naming their new building after my mother.”

The next meeting is set for Nov. 13.

The new administration building will be located at 615 Classen Blvd., and is expected to open in the winter of 2019.

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