OKLAHOMA COUNTY (KFOR) – Western Heights School District Superintendent Mannix Barnes is back in the hot seat. This time, the Oklahoma State Board of Education issued an emergency order to suspend Barnes’ education certificate.
Barnes was a Western Heights Board of Education member who was chosen to replace longtime superintendent Joe Kitchens.
Since moving into the office, Barnes and the district became KFOR headlines.
“We have a long list of things that we find troubling in that district,” Jennifer Monies, Oklahoma State Board of Education board member, told KFOR in April.
The long list of problems includes mishandling of funds, failure to provide in-person instructional services to students, failure to provide food for students and significant loss in enrollment and teachers.
The President of the Western Heights Education Association, Sharon Teague, told KFOR the following in a statement Wednesday:
“In my opinion, no, He is not fulfilling his duty to the district. I cannot predict; however, they (the board) have supported this superintendent for the last two years. I would hope they would take swift action on the claims by the SDE.”SHARON TEAGUE, WESTERN HEIGHTS EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT
For months, parents and staff members spoke out about the superintendent’s actions and their child’s education.
“I’m just here to make sure we save our schools for our kids,” said Keyohnna Tillis-Owens.
“Our superintendent doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that there is any problem,” said Amy Boone.
The attorneys for Western Heights and school board members didn’t return our calls either. The Oklahoma State Department of Education will take this up Thursday morning.