STROTHER, Okla. (KFOR) – For the first time since a Strother Public Schools maintenance worker allegedly murdered his wife at their home on school grounds, district parents had the opportunity to address the school board. 

“You have failed,” said one parent when speaking in front of the board. “This is 100 percent a complete act of negligence by all of you.”

According to the Seminole Nation Lighthorse Police Department, Douglas Vaughn Switch Jr. shot and killed his wife, Kim Switch, inside their home on Strother school grounds on Oct. 23. Switch’s three children were home at the time of the killing. 

“What happened to this family is absolutely tragic,” said Luke Hester, a Strother Public Schools parent. 

Hester is among numerous parents who are arguing that Switch shouldn’t have been hired, and therefore around their children, because of his criminal history. 

According to the Oklahoma State Court’s Network, starting in the late 80’s Switch pleaded guilty to several DUI’s, aggravated assault and battery, and knowingly concealing stolen property

At Wednesday night’s Special Board Meeting, it was revealed that in May of 2022, the school board unanimously approved the hiring of Switch on a temporary contract “contingent on the results of his background check.”

“This is a widespread practice which is allowed by state law,” said Tami Shelton, the School Board President. 

Switch’s background check results were not complete until August 2022, according to Shelton.

“Mr. Johnson (Kobly Johnson, SPS Superintendent) then consulted with legal counsel regarding whether he could retain Mr. Switch, after learning that Mr. Switch was a convicted felon,” said Shelton. “State law (70 O.S. §6-101.48) permits a public school district to hire a person with a felony record if ten or more years have elapsed since the date of the person’s criminal conviction… Mr. Switch’s felony convictions fell outside of the 10-year window, and his other convictions were non-violent.” 

Despite the law not being broken, some parents still want to see a stronger hiring process. 

“We need to go into stuff deeper before we hire people,” said another parent when addressing the board.

Hester told KFOR he wants to see the school board held accountable for the controversial hiring decision. 

“If they had a decision in hiring him and they said yes and they knew the background, they should be fired because they did not prioritize our children’s safety,” said Hester. 

Superintendent Kolby Johnson was not at Wednesday’s meeting. He also has not publicly commented on the incident because he is considered a material witness in the investigation.