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January 11, 2018 at 5:30 PM - Superintendent's Report and Board of Education Special Board Meeting

Agenda
1. Call the Meeting to Order, recording of members present and absent, making of request that visitors silence their cell phones and that board members refrain from using their cell phones during the meeting.
Rationale: 

 

Discussion:  President Tolson opened the meeting. Attendance was taken and asked to refrain from using their cell phones during the meeting. Visitors were requested to silence their cell phones.
2. Pledge of Allegiance, Salute to the Oklahoma Flag and Moment of Silence.
Rationale:  (I salute the flag of the State of Oklahoma. Its symbols of peace unite all people.)
Discussion: 

President Tolson led the Pledge of Allegiance, Salute to the Oklahoma Flag and Moment of Silence.

 

3. Welcome to visitors.
Discussion: 

President Tolson welcomed visitors.

Visitors present: Lauri Lee, Dean Hix, Mandy Laird, Scott Laird, Sandy Henly, Bailey Henley, Leah Strahm, Braxton Williams, Byron Cowan, and Bryan Drummond

4. Due process hearing for Braxton Williams regarding his possible termination.
Discussion: 

President Tolson read the following statement.

The reason for this meeting is to conduct a hearing on whether to terminate or not terminate Braxton Williams from his employment with the district. At this hearing Mr. Williams is entitled to be represented by the counsel of his choice.

The order of the hearing is governed by the Agenda. The Agenda provides that both the Superintendent and Mr. Williams are given the opportunity to make an opening statement; the Superintendent will call her witnesses and present her evidence, with Mr. Williams having the opportunity for cross-examination; Mr. Williams will then present his evidence and call his witnesses which are subject to cross-examination; both sides will be allowed to call rebuttal witnesses; and then both sides will have time to make closing arguments to the Board.

The Board will then convene in Executive Session to discuss and deliberate on the termination or not of Mr. Williams and will return to Open Session to vote to adopt Findings of fact; that is, what facts the Board finds have been shown from the testimony. The Board will then vote on whether to terminate or not terminate Mr. Williams from his employment with the District.

This hearing is to be an informal administrative hearing that will not be governed by strict rules of evidence such as would be used in a court proceeding.  Thus, the Board may hear hearsay evidence that it finds to have some merit in establishing facts. Only witnesses and legal counsel or other representatives, if any, will be addressing the Board, and thus, no statements from anyone in the audience will be heard. Witnesses are also to be sworn to tell the truth during their testimony, which oath will be administered by the Board President.

4.A. The Board President shall convene the hearing, state the purpose of the hearing, introduce the parties, and administer an oath to all persons who will testify.
4.B. Opening statement by attorney for the Superintendent.
Discussion:  Bryan Drummond made the district's opening statement.
4.C. Opening statement by Mr. Williams or his attorney.
Discussion:  Mr. Williams made his opening statement.
4.D. Presentation of evidence by attorney for the Superintendent, subject to cross-examination by Mr. Williams or his attorney and questions from the Board of Education.
Discussion: 

President Tolson swore all witnesses into testimony

First Witness: Dean Hix

Mr. Hix was questioned by Mr. Drummond and was cross-examined by Mr. Williams.

Board member Boone questioned Mr. Hix.

President Tolson questioned Mr. Hix.

Second Witness: Bailey Henley

Mr. Drummond questioned Ms. Henley and was cross-examined by Mr. Williams

President Tolson questioned Ms. Henley.

Third Witness: Leah Strahm

Mr. Drummond questioned Ms. Strahm

Board member Boone questioned Ms. Strahm.

President Tolson questioned Ms. Strahm.

Fourth Witness: Lauri Lee

Mr. Drummond questioned Ms. Lee and was cross-examined by Mr. Williams

President Tolson questioned Ms. Lee

VPresident Ferguson questioned Ms. Lee

Board Member Boone questioned Ms. Lee.

Mr. Drummond re-directed his question to Ms. Lee

Fifth Witness: Christina Camargo

Mr. Drummond questioned Mrs. Camargo, and she was cross-examined by Mr. Williams.

President Tolson questioned Mrs. Camargo.

Board Member Boone questioned Mrs. Camargo.

Sixth Witness: Dr. Janet Neufeld

Mr. Drummond questioned Dr. Neufeld.

Mr. Williams did not have any questions for Dr. Neufeld.

Board member Boone questioned Dr. Neufeld

President Tolsosn questioned Dr. Neufeld.

 

 


4.E. Presentation of evidence by Mr. Williams or his attorney, subject to cross-examination by the attorney for the Superintendent and questions from the Board of Education.
Discussion: 

President Tolson swore Mr. Braxton Williams into testimony.

He did not have any witnesses, but he made a statement regarding the situation.

Mr. Drummond questioned Mr. Williams.

Board Clerk Counts questioned Mr. Williams

President Tolson questioned Mr. Williams.

 

4.F. Presentation of rebuttal and surrebuttal evidence, as necessary.
Discussion: 

President Tolson recalled Ms. Henley for questioning.

President Tolson recalled Ms. Strahm for questioning.

4.G. Closing statement by Mr. Williams or his attorney.
Discussion:  Mr. Williams gave his closing statement to the board.
4.H. Closing statement by attorney for the Superintendent.
Discussion:  Mr. Drummond gave his closing statement to the board.
5. Consideration and vote to go into executive session to discuss and deliberate on the termination or not of Mr. Williams, pursuant to OKLA. STAT title 25 § 307 (B) (1) and (7).
Action(s):
Consideration and vote to go into executive session to discuss and deliberate on the termination or not of Mr. Williams, pursuant to OKLA. STAT title 25 § 307 (B) (1) and (7) passed with a motion by Patricia Counts and a second by Danny Ferguson.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
6. Vote to acknowledge the board has returned to Open Session:
Action(s):
Acknowledge the board has returned from Executive Session passed with a motion by Thomas Boone and a second by Patricia Counts.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
7. Statement of Executive Session minute.
Discussion: 

Board President Tolson made the following statement:

While in Excutive Session, the Boartd discussed and deliberated on the termination or no of Mr. Williams, pursuant to Okalhoma Statutes, Title 25, Section 307 (B)(1) and (7). No other matters were discussed and not votes were taken.

8. Consideration and vote to adopt Findings of Fact.
Action(s):
Findings of Fact Based on the testimony and evidence presented tonight. Counts made the motion that the Board of Education adopt the following Findings of Fact: 1. Braxton Williams was employed as a fulltime support employee by the Pawhuska School District for the 2017-2018 school year. He was assigned as a bus driver/maintenance employee. 2. By letter dated December 7, 2017, the Superintendent, Dr. Janet Neufeld, sent Mr. Williams notice that she intended to recommend to the Board of Education that he be terminated from his employment with the District. The causes, each of which is sufficient by itself, for his termination, were a. 29. Immoral conduct or indecency including abusive and/or foul language; and b. 42. If it is in the best interest of the school district, any support person may be suspended, demoted, or terminated. The letter also set out his right to request a hearing within ten (10) working days. Mr. Williams requested a hearing and by letter dated January 2, 2018, Mr. Williams was informed of the date, time and place of his due process hearing before the Board of Education. 3. On February 28, 2017, Mr. Williams was given a reprimand (“Reprimand”). The Reprimand was given to him because he used vulgar language towards a female student and pulled her hair. 4. On November 15, 2017, a teacher contacted the High School Principal, Lauri Lee, about a report a student had made. Ms. Lee found the student and interviewed her. She reported that earlier this year, she and two of her fellow students were sitting outside the locker room, waiting on a coach after the team dinner. She was tired so she found a bucket to sit on. When she stood up, one of her friends told her that she had paid on her butt. The paint was between her legs on her lower but and high thigh. She bent over trying to see how bad it was. While she was doing this, Mr. Williams walked by. She told him that she accidentally sat in paint and asked if the paint was washable. Mr. Williams did not answer her question, but grabbed her lower butt and high thigh while she was bent over. When Mr. Williams grabbed her, she panicked and did not know what to do, so she ran to the girls’ bathroom. She hid in the bathroom for 30 minutes until someone told her a coach was in the locker room. She did not tell anyone because she was so shaken up and embarrassed. She finally reported it on November 15, 2017, because she had been alone in the locker room in the old gym when Mr. Williams walked in. When he walked in she became uncomfortable and decided to report the prior incident. 5. Mr. Williams’s conduct and performance, as set out above, are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by the District. 6. The Superintendent’s recommendation is supported by a preponderance of the evidence. 7. Mr. Williams should be immediately terminated from his employment with the District for the causes set out in the Superintendent’s recommendation. passed with a motion by Patricia Counts and a second by Thomas Boone.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
9. Vote to terminate or not terminate Mr. Williams from his employment with the District.
Action(s):
Based on the Findings of Fact adopted tonight, the recommendation to immediately terminate Braxton Williams from his employment from Pawhuska Publlic Schools passed with a motion by Danny Ferguson and a second by Thomas Boone.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
10. Consideration and vote to accept any resignation submitted to the Board of Education after posting of Agenda.
Discussion:  None
11. Adjourn:
Rationale: 

This agenda was posted in the Administration office and on the East door of the entrance of the Administration office on Tuesday, January 8, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.; and is posted on the website at: www.pawhuskadistrict.org.

 

 

Lauren A. Stanton

Superintendent's Secretary

Pawhuska Board of Education

Action(s):
Adjournment at 7:46 p.m. passed with a motion by Danny Ferguson and a second by Patricia Counts.
No Action(s) have been added to this Agenda Item.
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