Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April
Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson looks on as Moore SEARCH students present
Gov. Brad Henry with a Selenite paper weight.
SEARCH Students Watch Gov. Sign Selenite Bill
Students from Bryant and Red Oak Elementary Schools
looked on as Gov. Brad Henry put his signature on Senate Bill 4
which names Selenite as Oklahoma’s official state crystal.
The ceremonial signing took place at the State Capitol on Wednesday.
While Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson carried the legislation, she explained
the students from the Moore School District’s gifted and talented
program, Students Experiencing Appropriate Research and Creative
Happenings (SEARCH) actually came up with the idea.
“They researched it and came to me with the request that I
carry the legislation. They not only learned a lot about geology
and geography but they’ve gotten a real hands-on lesson about
government. I’m happy they were able to see their idea become
a reality and be here at the Capitol for the signing,” Wilcoxson
Wilcoxson’s co-authors on the measure included Sen. David
Myers, R-Ponca City, Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, and Rep. Jeff
During the ceremony, the students presented Gov. Brad Henry with
a Selenite paperweight as well as a necklace for First Lady Kim
Red Oak sixth-grader Addi Ellis was among the students at the Capitol
for the bill signing. She said the idea came about after their SEARCH
group took a field trip to the Great Salt Plains.
The Selenite found there is a crystallized form of gypsum which
takes on the characteristics of its environment. Iron oxide in the
soil gives the crystals their reddish to chocolate brown color and
the sand and clay particles included within the crystal often form
a unique hourglass shape.
Ellis said the students at first wanted to make Selenite the state’s
official gemstone—but during the legislative process the measure
was amended to make it the state’s official crystal instead.
She said the students were reluctant to change their legislation
at first but through the experience learned about the give and take
involved in getting a bill through the legislature—and ultimately
getting it signed into law.
“That was really cool. I didn’t know how all that worked…it
was a neat experience,” said Ellis.
Senate Communications Office- (405) 521-5774