At the point when 6-year-old Blake Shelton went to class in 1982, the future country megastar was given a nearly shiny new course book to learn from. Over 35 years after the fact, the same book passed down to a first grader in 2018.
Shelton, 41, who has publicly talked about his hometown of Ada, appears to have wrote his name on the front of the textbook in 1982. Latta school district’s superintendent Cliff Johnson confirmed to CNN that Blake Shelton attended Latta Public School “in his younger years” of education, but graduated from a different school.
Marley Parker, 7, discovered her assigned textbook use to belong to Oklahoma-born Blake Shelton when she went to add her own name to the front of the book. She was excited that she had a special connection with the country music artist and ‘The Voice’ star. Nonetheless, her mother, Shelly Bryan Parker, emphatically did not feel a similar way.
In a now viral post, Parker wrote, “Marley is EXCITED that her ‘new’ reader belonged to Blake Shelton, but I am EMBARRASSED!!!! I’m 40 and these people are my age!!”
Her “embarrassment” comes in due to issues plaguing the Oklahoma public school system, which have culminated in a teacher walkout. Parker added, “Thank you to every teacher/parent/support staffer/etc. for fighting for my kids education!!! Don’t give up until education is FULLY FUNDED!!!!”
Cases like this have immediately added energy to the Oklahoma teacher strike. Hundreds of teachers have packed the state Capitol in the previous week protesting for more financing for their schools’ facilities, equipment, and textbooks.
“It’s like we are fighting against our own, I know people don’t want their taxes to be raised. But we all need to come together to help out children have the best education they possibly can.”
“Teachers have had enough, Marley is so fortunate to have amazing teachers but they need the resources to be able to teach and worthy salaries.”
“The book is considered one of our treasures she says, it’s in good shape but not many others are,” she says.
Shelton’s old book has become a symbol of the lack of funding for new supplies that teachers and students have had to deal with, like a number of broken chairs for students making many of them sit on the floor while while trying to learn.
Teachers are now demanding the state boost pay by 20 percent and return to pre-recession funding levels for education.
Comments on the post, which has been shared over 7,000 times at the time of this story, were supportive, mainly by teachers.
“As a teacher, I’m surprised at the support people are giving old materials. Teaching methods, standards, and curriculum should and (hopefully) does improve through the years,” wrote one. A textbook from 35 years belongs in a museum!”
But some don’t understand why the mother cares how old the book is, with one person commenting, “I’m not sure I understand why you are embarrassed?! Literature is timeless. The book looks to be in good condition. What is the issue?!”
“It’s about fighting for our kid’s right to a better education,” she says.
Do you think older books are acceptable for kids? I remember every book I was given in the 80s and early 90s in school, someone had before me and no one complained at that time. But how long is too long? 20 years? 40 years? 60 years? I think if the book is readable and in ok condition it does not matter how old it is. Do you agree?