RED ROCK — A 2007-08 University of Oklahoma women's basketball poster schedule is taped to the glass entrance of the central administration office at Frontier School. Included in the photo is 2006 Frontier High School graduate Jenna Plumley, who has generated many positive headlines for the school and the town. Friends and family, at the school and in Red Rock, said Friday they plan to fully support her through the bad ones as well.
In townIn the town of about 290 people is The Rock, an activity center affiliated with the Otoe Baptist Church, offering young people a place to hang out, play games and enjoy food a few days a week. Albert Plumley, one of Jenna's three brothers, works at The Rock. "This town's very supportive of her,” he said. "I haven't heard any bad comments about it. I've just heard supportive comments like they will pray for her. "As a Christian, I've really been praying for my sister. Everybody has their downfall, and we all make mistakes. It's just a part of life we have to get through.”
What's reaction at school?Just outside town is Frontier School. About 400 students in prekindergarten through 12th grade come from the Red Rock and Marland areas to attend classes there. "You don't stop being supportive when there is a bump in the road,” said Frontier Superintendent Terri Taflinger. "That's when you're needed more, whenever we face some challenges.” Jenna Plumley is part Pueblo, Comanche, Otoe and Pawnee. Jenni Carlson wrote in a 2006 story in The Oklahoman that only 0.5 percent of Division-I women's basketball players are American Indians. "It is certainly unfortunate that this incident has taken place for Jenna and for the University of Oklahoma.” Taflinger said. "Jenna has long served as a role model for native students as well as many of our younger students.” Frontier High School Principal Randy Robinson said he wants to know all the facts before making any kind of judgment. He praised Plumley not only for accomplishments on the court, but for what she did as the president of the student council. But, he says, if things are indeed what the media has reported, then support is needed more now more than ever. "It's easy to support a basketball team, for example, when they are going 28-2 and bringing home a gold ball,” Robinson said. "It's more difficult to support a team when they are 13-15 and don't make it out of the districts. "It's more difficult to support in the down times, but it's more important to be there to support, to encourage, to assist, to overcome whatever obstacles there might be.”
Moving forwardPlumley's brother and her former high school principal both said it is time to live and learn. Albert Plumley talked with his sister earlier this week. He told her that there are always going to be people in the world "who want you to fail.” But he reminded her that is not the case with her hometown, which is going to stand by her side. "I just told her that everybody makes mistakes, and how you recover from them is how basically you are looked upon,” Plumley said. Jenna Plumley was never in his office for disciplinary reasons, Robinson said. But he shared with me what he tells those students who are called in. "I can tell kids when they come in the office for discipline, it's a little chink in the armor, but the armor can be straightened out with some work,” he said.
On NewsOK.comWatch: Reactions to Jenna's suspension from team
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At a glanceSuspension: Jenna Plumley was suspended on Thursday from the Oklahoma women's basketball team for the upcoming season by head coach Sherri Coale. The coach said in a statement that during a meeting within the past two weeks a plan was outlined to address concerns with Plumley. Coale added that the expectations were not met. Arrest: Plumley was arrested Monday in Norman on a petty larceny complaint, accused of trying to take four cosmetics items valued at $34.65 from Walmart in Norman. Scholarship: Plumley will retain her scholarship and can return to the team during the 2009-2010 season.