OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Western Heights School District announced during Thursday morning’s State Board of Education meeting a lawsuit against the Oklahoma State Department of Education, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and the State Board of Education.
“The reason for being in the seat where you are today is not because of one event recently. It’s the compilation of many things,” Hofmeister said during the meeting.
“Well, we can agree to disagree on that, Superintendent,” said Jerry Colclazier, Western Heights’ attorney.
“We allege very serious violations of the Oklahoma Meeting Act. We allege violations of the administrative procedures act and ask for several declaratory judgments from the district court,” Colclazier said.
In response to the lawsuit, Hofmeister tells KFOR, “This attempt to deflect responsibility is a poor substitute for rebuilding trust in the community and effectively serving students.”
In early April, the State Board placed Western Heights on probation, citing a list of problems.
One of them was falling enrollment of students and staff.
Western Heights was given 90 days to take corrective action or risk losing accreditation.
The district was asked to be at that meeting but no one showed.
“We did ask for you to come to the meeting and you all declined that invitation. So, let’s not act like we have not been trying to speak to you,” said Carlisha Bradley, State Board of Education Congressional District 1.
“That was an unfair hearing from day one and we fully expected a judge will rule it so,” Colclazier said.
The school’s attorney said he had a reason for not letting the district attend.
“We were not provided one single document other than a letter that was sent alleging some general concerns. Then, on the day of the meeting, April 9th, after the meeting, you release 112 documents, over 1,200 pages, none of which refers to Western Heights,” Colclazier said. “I did not let my client come to an ambush on April 9th.”
KFOR contacted both the school district and its attorney for comment but have yet to hear back.