OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A former Oklahoma City Public Schools teacher and former Deer Creek Public Schools substitute teacher guilty of giving alcohol to a minor is seeking to get his records expunged and sealed, but some parents are fearing if the expungement goes through, he may try to teach kids once again.
KFOR first reported this story in November, when multiple parents were also accusing the man, Dax Johnston, of sexually inappropriate behavior with their children.
Johnston’s attorney, Tommy Adler, tells KFOR that Johnston was never charged for the allegations of sexually inappropriate texts, stalking and groping. As for giving alcohol to minors, he said it’s his client’s legal right to get his records expunged of that now that the case has been closed.
“Mr. Johnston has a right to expungement, expungement laws that are about your right to privacy,” Adler said. “So, the statute says who is and who is not eligible, and based on the outcome of his misdemeanor charge, Mr. Johnston is absolutely eligible for records expungement. The district attorney’s office, who decides who gets charged with crimes, rightfully charged the misdemeanor charge and he accepted that responsibility and is looking to move past it like anybody would.”
Adler explained his side further.
“All that salacious, scandalous, inflammatory, defamatory stuff was never confirmed or founded or charged,” he said. “He was charged with a misdemeanor count of furnishing alcohol to a minor based on the fact that some neighborhood kids had come to his house with another neighborhood father and had gotten into a refrigerator in his garage that had some beer in it. So, that case has been resolved. Mr. Johnston entered a no contest plea and the case is closed.”
Last October, two protective orders were filed against Johnston in the District Court of Oklahoma County – parents alleging that he had served their kids alcohol, sent them sexual texts, stalked them and even groped a child. These incidents allegedly happened during non-school hours and off of school property.
Johnston was charged in November 2021 for the criminal misdemeanor of giving alcohol to a minor and found guilty March 2022. Adler said he has since paid a $300 fine and court costs for the conviction.
“The police conducted a very thorough investigation with anybody that would cooperate with that investigation,” Adler said. “Mr. Johnston cooperated fully with that investigation. Mr. Johnston turned in his phone to police, consented to it being searched, and the district attorney declined to charge any of those allegations against Mr. Johnston. The one and only case against him has been resolved.”
On April 4, 2022, Johnston filed to get his records expunged and sealed for the furnishing alcohol to a minor charge.
One of the parents who filed a protective order against Johnston tells KFOR she fears Johnston may get a teaching job again if his records are expunged.
Adler said the alcohol situation happened at Johnston’s house, he’s faced the consequences, and it should not affect his professional career as a teacher.
“That’s absolutely preposterous,” he said. “This wasn’t a teacher-student relationship. These were neighborhood kids that voluntarily came over there with another neighborhood father. I don’t know that he’s interested in teaching again, but if we’re going to eliminate anybody from teaching who ever had a misdemeanor, we’re going to have an even bigger teacher shortage than we have in this state right now.”
An Oklahoma City Public Schools representative sent KFOR the following statement on Friday:
“Mr. Johnston was terminated from OKCPS on November 6, 2021 for job abandonment. Because this is a personnel issue, we cannot provide any further comment. All inquiries regarding the charges and the subsequent investigation should be directed to law enforcement. The safety and security of our students and staff is always our top priority. OKCPS follows state law regarding criminal background checks and eligibility to be employed in a public school.”OKCPS SPOKESPERSON
Back in November 2021, Deer Creek Schools sent KFOR this:
“Mr. Johnston worked as a Deer Creek substitute teacher for 51 days in 2019 and 2020 with his employment voluntarily ending in September of 2020. All required background checks and training were completed by Mr. Johnston prior to working as a substitute teacher.
Deer Creek has not been made aware of anything that occurred in regards to Mr. Johnston during school hours, on school property or during any school activity and understands that the alleged incidents occurred in the neighborhood.
Deer Creek takes these allegations seriously as the safety of our students and staff is our first priority and always investigates any allegations made against an employee.”DEER CREEK SCHOOLS SPOKESPERSON
Adler said he does not expect any objections from the District Court of Oklahoma County to expunge and seal Johnston’s records.