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Luther Parents Question Superintendent's Wife's Hiring

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LUTHER, Oklahoma -

About 50 people attended Monday night's school board meeting in Luther. The room was packed with passionate parents.

"We have children and we care about them and they're our future, guys," one woman said to the board members.

A common concern among them was the recent hiring of the district's dean of students.

"We hired a job for $65,000 when we could hire two teachers," the woman continued.

Superintendent Sheldon Buxton said he created the job to address student behavior at the high school and hired his wife, Patti, without posting the interim position.

He told News 9 last week that he felt there was no other candidate to consider.

8/3/2015 Related Story: Luther Schools Superintendent Creates $65K Position Then Hires Wife

"There's no legal process that requires a board to advertise for a position on the interim basis. No process. So, I didn't break any laws," he said.

The backlash wasn't far behind.

"Just because this job was legal, it doesn't make it moral," the woman at the podium proclaimed.

Officials at the school board meeting said the district had recently received a mailed letter threatening to kill the superintendent and each board member.

Sheldon Buxton said he did not pursue an investigation with police regarding the threat, but that it was being taken very seriously.

On that basis, Sheldon Buxton said a clause was added to Monday's agenda saying they won't tolerate personal attacks. A policy was also set to be discussed regarding the removal of "disruptive and argumentative, or angry patrons during the course of a school board meeting."

"We understand when people are passionate about what they're talking about. That's normal. They get elevated in voice. That's normal. They point fingers. No problem," Buxton told News 9.

Although no one was asked to leave at Monday night's meeting, one person was interrupted.

"Dr. Buxton is in direct violation of nepotism by definition," one patron said at the meeting

Board member Matt Mohr asked to stop him at that point and then recommended he take his complaint through the school's grievance process.

That man said he planned to do so.

In the meantime, Patti Buxton will remain in the interim position.

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