Coyle principal accuses superintendent of abusing his power

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COYLE, Okla. - A local principal and his family are calling for action, saying the superintendent of Coyle is abusing his power and taking it out on his family.

Dozens of people were in attendance at the Monday night school board meeting to find out what would happen amidst calls to get rid of the superintendent.

"I feel betrayed and abandoned," said principal Patrick Smith's daughter, Coyle High School junior Peyton Smith.

She stood before the school board, condemning the five men for failing to intervene while she said superintendent Josh Sumrall continues to subject her and her family to harsh and unfair punishment.

"Josh Sumrall has created a hostile and unbearable school environment for me and others," Peyton said.

The controversy started as a fight between Peyton and the superintendent's son, Codie, on an FFA trip in October.

Peyton was suspended for her part in the fight, and Sumrall filed a police report alleging a text message she sent to her friends was a legitimate threat against Codie's life.

"I now have a three-day suspension on my record, I have one false police report that will follow me the rest of my life," Peyton said.

The family and his attorney allege Codie was not formally reprimanded for his part and the superintendent skipped due process for Peyton's punishment, failing to even hear her side of the story.

"Why not interview the students?" Patrick said, also speaking in front of the board. "Mr. Sumrall responded it’s just not something he does. There is no recourse. His decisions are final. If you do not agree, there will be a price to pay."

He said the superintendent threatened to buy out his contract with the school system and that was just one of several actions he has taken to threaten or bully the principal's family.

Patrick has been put on indefinite administrative leave for reasons the superintendent would not divulge to News 4, however others close to the situation said it is because Patrick did not complete all of his evaluations.

Now Patrick, his family and others in the community are calling for the board to do something about a superintendent they said is out of control.

"Remove Josh Sumrall of his position to protect the liability of this happening again," Peyton said. "I do not wish this upon anyone."

No decision was made at Monday night's meeting regarding Sumrall's position.

He told News 4 he is not at liberty to comment on the situation because it involves personnel.

However, Sumrall did say he wishes he could comment because there are two sides to every story. He contends the allegations against him are false.

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