OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The State Department of Education Superintendent has been demanding former Norman High School English teacher, Summer Boismier’s teaching license be revoked. Two hearing dates have been set this year with both having been rescheduled.
Summer Boismier has been in an uphill battle over her teaching license since August 2022.
According to the State Department of Education’s (OSDE) administrative complaint filed at the end of February, a parent complaint pertaining to Summer Boismier was received by Norman Public Schools on the first day of school, August 19, 2022.
The complaint concerned a display in Boismier’s classroom and comments made by Boismier during a high school English 2 class that included that parent’s child.
Norman district employees then went to Boismier’s classroom to investigate the parent’s claims.
That’s where documents show they found bookshelves covered in red bulletin board paper with messages written in black marker.
The message allegedly stated, “Books the state doesn’t want you to read.”
The bookshelf was covered because NPS district guidelines required teachers to review the books in their classroom and either remove any contravening the guidance or cover the books until they had time to remove them.
Next to that message was a QR code with additional writing that said, “Definitely don’t scan me.”
That QR code in the classroom was linked to the Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books Unbanned” initiative which allows kids ages 13-21 to read the library’s full catalogue of books.
“Absolutely 1,000% deserve a place in our reading lists, in individual curricula,” OSDE’s complaint claims Boismier said.
In a previous statement sent to News 4, NPS Superintendent, Nick Migliorino said, “There was no violation of OK House Bill 1775 or SDE rules nor was the issue about any books actually on the teacher’s shelves or the use of the public library QR code.”
“Based on our investigation, Dr. Migliorino still stands by that statement and the rest of the message he shared with our families and staff. He understands that, after their independent review, the SDE may choose to disagree,” said NPS on March 21.
Despite the opinion of NPS, State Superintendent Ryan Walters has been pushing for Boismier’s license to be revoked since August 31, 2022.
He has been demanding license revocation since he was the State Secretary of Education.
There are no pending criminal charges against Boismier in this case.
OSDE is accusing Boismier of unlawful racist instruction, violating teacher standards by exposing explicit sexual content to minors, and violating OK HB 1775.
For the OSDE to revoke her license, an administrative hearing must be conducted.
The hearing was originally set for April 21.
“At the request of Summer Boismier’s counsel, the teacher license revocation hearing has been postponed to an undetermined date in May,” said OSDE spokesperson, Justin Holcomb.
The hearing was then set for May 23 at 9:30 a.m.
Boismier has requested Walters recuse himself from any decision making regarding her teaching license.
“Should Walters not recuse himself or be disqualified, this would render Walters in the simultaneous roles of both accuser and adjudicator in the present case. Moreover, because of his predominant role in making the disputed factual allegations against Ms. Boismier, she has requested Walters be subpoenaed as a witness in the upcoming hearing to determine the status of her license. The roles of accuser and witness are fundamentally incompatible with the roles of adjudicator or hearing officer,” OSDE court records show.
Boismier has not only requested Walters be subpoenaed in this hearing, but also that the Norman High School Principal and Norman Public Schools Associate Superintendent/Chief Human Resources Officer be in attendance.
She intends to cross-examine, present witnesses, and present evidence at the hearing, according to OSDE documents.
“She isn’t backing down and this is going to cost [OSDE] probably tens of millions of dollars by the end of it,” stated Sean Cummings. He believes Boismier is being slandered by the OSDE.
Sean Cummings showed up to the Oliver Hodge building on Lincoln where her hearing was set to take place Tuesday morning.
“What [OSDE] is trying to do is make such an example out of a wonderful teacher, to cut her down so nobody else will step up and do anything,” stated Cummiungs.
News 4 showed up roughly 30 minutes before Cummings.
Before News 4 even walked into the building, a fellow NBC Reporter shared Holcomb told her the hearing had been cancelled as of Monday.
News 4 never received that information though.
Although an initial start time of 9:30 a.m., an OSDE lobby receptionist told KFOR the hearing had been moved up to 9 a.m.
No notice was provided to KFOR prior to this.
The receptionist confirmed on the phone with an OSDE representative the meeting was to begin at 9 a.m. as well.
She said the room in which the hearing would be held was allegedly being prepared and everyone would be allowed in soon.
“There’s a whole lot to think about saying, you being the only news reporter in that room. Why were you the only news reporter?,” asked Audra Beasley, another person who was at the Oliver Hodge building for Boismier’s hearing.
Beasley believes limiting media during Boismier’s hearing was intentional and speaks volumes.
“I don’t think [OSDE] wants people to really hear what goes on in this hearing,” said Beasley.
The hearing was then suddenly cancelled 10 minutes after it was supposed to start.
The receptionist told KFOR she had received an email from an OSDE representative confirming so.
News 4 tried getting a hold of both Holcomb and Walters, but an explanation as to why it was cancelled was not immediately provided.
Others who were waiting in the lobby received information from Holcomb within minutes.
News 4 had reached out to both Holcomb and Walters several times Tuesday morning.
A half hour after the meeting was supposed to start, Holcomb said the reason behind the cancellation was because the Director of their legal team had “fallen ill” and needed to reschedule.
“So did this just happen? The receptionist told us it would start at 9AM when we got here at 8:45. Also, why was it moved to 9 when we were told 9:30 originally?,” asked News 4 Reporter, Kaylee Olivas.
Holcomb never responded.
“Can’t trust a word they say,” said Beasley. “There’s certain people in leadership in this state that have proven that the civil rights, the rights of our teachers, the rights of our citizens, that those are somewhat up for negotiation. And I’m not seeing any justice for any of it. Who’s holding them accountable?”
Both Cummings and Beasley wondered if the lack of public notice for the hearing and the cancellation is a violation of the Open Meetings Act.
The State Attorney General’s Office told KFOR an administrative hearing before an administrative law Judge is not a meeting of a public body and is not subject to the Open Meetings Act.
A new hearing date has not been released yet.
Aside from Boismier’s case, there are several Oklahoma Public School faculty members who have either been criminally charged or accused of misconduct with students:
- Former Wewoka Middle School Principal, Cody Barlow has been charged with two felony counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child under the age of 16
- Former Mustang High School teacher, Raymond Thomas Garner is facing several charges, including rape and lewd acts of a minor
- A current Kingfisher High School football coach is tied up in a federal hazing lawsuit
- Current Ringling High School Principal and head football coach, Philip Koons is accused of verbally abusing and bullying players
Each one of the individuals listed above currently has an Oklahoma teaching license as of Tuesday afternoon.
News 4 has asked the OSDE on several different occasions if action would be taken soon regarding these individuals.
The statement often used by the OSDE to address these cases and ones similar to them is: “This administration has been closely monitoring this situation from the beginning. We are working with local authorities and, as always, are prepared to take action immediately.”