BIXBY, Okla. – The superintendent of an Oklahoma school district announced his resignation following a sexual assault investigation at the district’s high school.
According to a report filed with the Bixby Police Department, multiple football players at Bixby High School are accused of rape by instrumentation following an incident that happened earlier this year.
Although very few details are being released, multiple sources told the Tulsa World that several football players were kicked off the team after allegations surfaced of an assault at a team event.
Last month, a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Tulsa World detailed the allegations of rape by instrumentation of a 16-year-old Bixby High School football player by four of his teammates, while other teammates laughed and even barred the door.
The victim reportedly told officials that the sexual assault, which occurred around Sept. 27, was not the first time he was assaulted. In fact, he said “a similar incident had also happened at a team function at the same location during the 2016 football season,” the affidavit states.
The boy said he was at a football team function at the home of the Bixby superintendent in September when he was sexually assaulted.
“While upstairs, three football players held him down while a fourth player stuck a pool stick into his anus, through his shorts,” the affidavit states. “While this took place, another football player videoed the incident on a cellular telephone.”
According to the affidavit, investigators are also looking into “indications of a ‘cover-up’” in reporting of the assault by school officials.
“It is unclear when school officials reported this sexual assault of a child to the authorities, although it was certainly delayed for days,” the affidavit states. “It certainly appears that any reporting of the incident was significant and has caused difficulty in the investigation, especially including the inability to preserve evidence. It also appears that there may have been some initial effort by one or others to not report the incident at all.”
According to the affidavit obtained by the Tulsa World, there was some delay in reporting the assault to the proper authorities as the Bixby school system had been investigating “but police had not been notified.”
When a school official did finally report the sexual assault to police in November, according to the affidavit he said that the superintendent had finally “given him permission to report the incident to police, but directed it be reported to a certain Bixby police officer.”
In the wake of the accusations, Superintendent Robert Kyle Wood resigned at a board of education meeting on Tuesday.
“Dr. Robert Kyle Wood announced today his resignation and retirement as Superintendent of the Bixby School District. In light of recent events, Dr. Wood decided it was in the best interests of the Bixby School District, the Bixby community, and his family to step away at this time. Although this has been a challenging time for Dr. Wood and the Bixby School District, recent events cannot erase Dr. Wood’s many accomplishments as a life-long Oklahoma educator, including his successful 11-year tenure as Bixby’s Superintendent. Under Dr. Wood’s leadership, Bixby has become one of the most academically successful and desirable school districts in the State. As the District has grown, Dr. Wood helped create a culture of professional excellence, managed the on-budget and on-time construction of numerous state-of-the-art facilities, and managed the District’s budget to allow our hard-working teachers and staff to receive annual stipends, an accomplishment that gives Dr. Wood great satisfaction. Dr. Wood left the District in great shape, academically and financially. He is proud to have helped position the District for continued growth and success.
“In resigning, Dr. Wood expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to have served the District and the Bixby community as Superintendent, and extended his thanks to his many friends and colleagues in the District for their friendship and service during his tenure. ‘I am particularly grateful, for the many people who have supported me and my family through these challenging times,’ Dr. Wood commented.
“The media’s reporting of recent events has, in several important ways, been inaccurate, misleading and incomplete. Dr. Wood did not violate any law regarding reporting of child abuse; nor has he violated any District rule or policy. Because of the pending investigation, Dr. Wood will not litigate this case in the press. Instead, Dr. Wood will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials, and continue to respect District Attorney Matt Ballard’s investigative process,” a statement from Wood’s lawyer to FOX 23 read.
Lydia Wilson, who is the principal of Bixby Central Elementary School, will serve as the interim superintendent until a replacement is hired.