OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma’s Secretary of Education wrote a letter to the State Board of Education calling for them to revoke the teaching certificate of Summer Boismier, the former Norman High teacher.
Boismier resigned on August 24.
However, in a letter by Walters, he claimed that she was fired.
“In light of the recent events leading to the subsequent firing of Norman High School English Teacher Summer Boismier, I am asking the Oklahoma Board of Education to revoke her teaching certificate immediately,” said Walters, in the opening line.
The former Norman teacher voluntarily left the district after a teacher complaint to the Norman school district about a potential violation to House Bill 1775.
Ms. Boismier handed out QR codes to students, giving them access to the Brooklyn Public Library where they could rent books that were not allowed at Norman Public Schools.
Students were not required to rent any particular books.
Norman Public Schools said she was never punished by the district and they welcomed her back to work.
“We met with the teacher to address the concern and expected them to return to class as normal,” said the school district, in a statement on their website.
KFOR asked Walters about the letter which stated Boismier had been fired.
“There could be a clerical error there in the original letter – on new information – that we’re taking a look at,” said Walters, in a phone interview.
Regardless of the mistake, the secretary does not want her teaching anywhere in Oklahoma.
“What we have here is someone who’s decided to be a left wing activist and to try to indoctrinate kids,” said Walters. “And we’re not going to allow it here in the state of Oklahoma.”
The Oklahoma Department of Education said certificates are revoked only 15-20 times per year.
They are reserved for extreme offenses including:
- felony convictions
- child abuse
- inappropriate contact with a student or minor
- behavior against the code of conduct
- some violent crimes
Boismier questioned why Walters would go after her now, saying there are bigger issues to tackle, such as a teacher shortage.
“How are you going to retain teachers when you are challenging their certification for simply providing access to information,” asked Boismier.
Last week’s Board of Education meeting resulted in over 1,000 more approvals of emergency teacher certificates.
The Department of Education said they are on pace to approve a record amount for a single school year.
Jena Nelson, the Democrat running for State Superintendent against Walters in November, said state leaders need to focus on real problems.
“Oklahoma schools, teachers and students need dedicated support that actually addresses actual problems and strengthens our education policies. Instead, they are subjected to constant, often false, political attacks designed by Sec. Walters to distract us from the real challenges Oklahoma education faces, including ranking 47th in the nation,” said Nelson, in a statement.
Oklahoma Education Association added their own statement after reading Secretary Walters’ letter.
“The OEA is concerned about the action today of a statewide education political appointee demanding the State Board of Education revoke the certificate of a teacher. This is problematic because it is based on an inaccurate interpretation of the facts and state law. It is not only harmful to the target of his comments but also embroils him and others in unneeded controversy,”Katherine Bishop, OEA President