ENID, Okla. (KFOR) - The Enid Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to not reinstate former school resource officer, Mike Dods.
This decision follows a statement on Monday that said an agreement had been reached between the district and Dods.
“I think it’s just disgraceful,” Enid parent Jolaine Aguilar said.
The Enid School Board sent a shock wave through town Thursday afternoon as it quashed all hopes for Dods to walk the halls again.
“All of a sudden it changed,” Judy Vickers said.
Dods was fired earlier this month after he and his attorney went public about an alleged cover-up involving the school district.
The two claimed administrators told Dods on multiple occasions to hide acts of violent student conduct and threats, and if he didn’t, he’d be ousted.
“Who wouldn’t want that,” Vickers said. “It doesn’t make sense. That is what they do to protect our kids.”
The news even ignited multiple protests at the high school.
But earlier this week, a surprise press release hit the KFOR newsroom. The district said:
“Enid Public Schools and Officer Mike Dods have agreed to resolve the present dispute in the interest of ensuring safety of staff and students. Officer Dods will return to work next Monday to serve EPS middle schools and elementary schools, and administrators and campus police officers will receive training on proper reporting procedures to ensure parents, students, and staff are safe. EPS will also begin to review campus police officer policies and procedures used in other Oklahoma school districts to see if EPS policies and procedures need to be revised. Officer Dods conveys his gratitude to EPS for taking this step and looks forward to continuing to serve the district. Enid Public Schools and Officer Dods are proud to jointly reaffirm their commitment to student safety.”
But less than 72 hours later, there was another surprise. The decision was flipped upside down.
“I feel like it’s really corrupt,” Vickers said,
That so-called agreement failed to pass.
Board members unanimously voted against it at Thursday’s special meeting. The district releasing this statement to News 4:
“The Enid Board of Education voted unanimously today not to approve the proposed settlement agreement with Michael Dods. As board members, we have no greater responsibility than protecting the safety of students and staff. This has been a long-time commitment by the board, teachers, staff and administrators of Enid Public Schools. Today, we renew this commitment to our students, their parents, the staff and every person in our community. The board places extreme value on transparency, and we believe it is important to proceed with the hearing process which will allow all parties to provide complete and thorough information to the board and to the public.”
The Bombshell news even blindsided Dods’ attorney, who tells us he didn’t know the agreement was up for discussion.
In a statement to News 4, he said the following:
“I just received a telephone call that is incredibly disturbing. The Enid School Board through its administration and counsel proposed a settlement offer and a joint press release, to which officer Dods agreed (one of the conditions of the offer was that the press release went out immediately upon Dods' acceptance). Officer Dods accepted and the joint release went out---but it appears it was simply a ploy by the board to temporarily get out of the press spotlight as I've just been informed that they voted 7-0 to reject the settlement offer THEY proposed through counsel. I haven't seen the minutes or anything official-- just received a flurry of phone calls, and I'm waiting to confirm.
I will say that if the board did in fact vote to back out of a settlement they proposed (and a joint press release they drafted through counsel) it would constitute the single most manipulative and corrupt act of individual school board members I have ever seen. If what I'm hearing is accurate, and I'm still sorting through what occurred, it appears both the administration and board are wholly untrustworthy and corrupt in my opinion. Officer Dods, despite being wronged, despite doing the absolute right thing in the face of threats, was willing to bury the hatchet and move forward so he could protect and serve the students and staff of the district. He took them at their word.
The arrogance, the out and out cruelty of this, is inexcusable.
To be clear, if the board cared about an objective investigation they would ask that OSBI review the allegations and fully investigate--which I proposed at the outset; a proposal they rejected outright. The board could retain independent counsel to investigate and review what occurred which happens routinely in other districts. Instead, they are choosing to put Officer Dods through immeasurable stress and trauma; the pressure involved in facing loss of your career is overwhelming, especially when having the rug pulled out from under in this manner.
They have no idea what they've started.”
Enid Schools tells News 4 they are working to fill any vacant School Resource Officer positions, and that safety is their priority.
The district adds there will be a new hearing for Dods. There is not a set date, but News 4 is told it will be after Thanksgiving break.