|Updated: 4/04/2013 9:15 am
||Published: 4/03/2013 10:29 pm
Tulsa Public School's flagship school is in jeopardy of losing part of its history.
Some students at Booker T. Washington High School have refused to enroll in an African American studies class.
Dr. Anthony Marshall doesn’t have a shortage of passion in his classroom. Instead, there’s a shortage of students.
Dr. Marshall showed FOX23 an enrollment sheet. Going down the line, his African American studies course has some of the smallest classes.
He's known for challenging students and demanding participation.
Fewer students are enrolling in his class. Next semester, Dr. Marshall will only teach one class for African American studies. He doesn't know what to expect after that.
"I refuse to lower my expectations in any class," said Dr. Marshall.
But that's what some students are demanding.
"They say ‘Dr. Marshall is just wasting his time, or that this class is not really worth anything," said student Camery Asberry.
Asberry said classmates are being lazy. They don't care to hear about the 1921 race riots, or even the Good Friday shootings.
"This is an elective, and we shouldn't have to do this much work," said Dr. Marshall.
Dr. Marshall graduated from Booker. T. He came back to teach in 2004. Marshall remembers his school, TPS's flagship school, being the first to integrate in the 1970s.
"They need to know and understand it," said Dr. Marshall.
History motivates him. If he loses his class, he'll still teach advanced placement courses.
Years ago, when students wanted the curriculum, he wouldn't have been able to offer it. Now that he can, many don't want it.
"I firmly believe those ignorant of their past are destined to relive it," said Dr. Marshall.