STROTHER, Okla. (KFOR) – On Wednesday, the Strother Public Schools Board unanimously voted to terminate the maintenance worker who allegedly shot and killed his wife at their home on school grounds earlier this week.
“It’s just an unspeakable tragedy for this community,” said Johnny Longest, who’s had three kids go through the school district. “My heart goes out to the families, and that’s where that’s where the focus needs to be.”
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 late Sunday night. Switch’s three children were home at the time of the killing.
The tragedy prompted the Strother Public School’s Board to call an Emergency Board Meeting Wednesday night. The meeting drew a crowd of at least 100 parents, along with dozens of students.
After more than two hours of the board’s executive session behind closed doors, Switch’s official termination was announced.
The district released the following statement Wednesday night:
“Tonight, the Board of Education voted unanimously to terminate the employment of Douglas Switch as a custodian for Strother Public Schools. We believe this is in the best interest of our district.
The safety and security of our Strother students, staff and families is always our top priority, and we continue to support our community with grief counselors and other services during this difficult time.
The district is fully cooperating with law enforcement. Because this is a personnel matter and part of an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.”Strother Public Schools
However, some parents at the meeting expressed concern about the board hiring Switch in the first place because of his past criminal history. According to the Oklahoma State Courts Network, the 46-year-old has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and battery and several DUI’s starting in the late 1990’s.
“With the list of felonies that he had, when they gave somebody the keys like that and let them around the children, let him have a gun on the premises, it’s unsettling,“ said Rita Larney, a parent with two Strother students. “This board, they need to resign.”
However, others are standing by Superintendent Kolby Johnson and the rest of the board’s hiring decision.
“We support our superintendent, and I don’t think that he did anything wrong,” said a senior at Strother High School.
Longest added that the board “puts in countless time, countless hours. They love these kids, love and have family that work here. They would never, ever do anything intentionally wrong on that.”
On Wednesday the board also announced that Johnson will not be publicly commenting on the situation because he is a material witness in the ongoing criminal investigation.