ONLY ON 9: Perry Mom Speaks Out About Reported Child Sex Crimes
PERRY, Oklahoma - After the Perry School Board voted to approve the resignation agreements of two former educators in a special meeting Monday, several in the crowd cheered.
One of them was Beka Skluzacek.
Her daughters, 10 and 12 years old, are two of the dozens of reported victims of the former Perry teaching aide, Arnold Cowen, 85.
“My heart hurts. My heart hurts so bad. He’s a monster. I mean, he’s a monster. I will never understand how someone can do something like that to so many girls,” said Skluzacek.
Skluzacek said her daughter told her teacher Jeffery Sullins about what Cowen reportedly did to her, and an affidavit shows Sullins thought the accusations were false.
Then, Skluzacek said, he put her daughter back in the classroom with Cowen.
“We entrust you with our children. You have to know to listen, whether you feel it in your heart it’s right or wrong, you have to listen. And by you not listening, you took something away from my child that I will never get back,” Skluzacek said.
Now, Skluzacek homeschools her girls, and her family has plans to move away from Perry.
“You have no idea. You have no clue what it’s like to be up all night holding your baby because she can’t sleep or your child not wanting to walk into a grocery store because she’s afraid she’s going to see the man that hurt her,” Skluzacek explained.
“Our babies are the victims, not the adults in this. They had a choice and they made a very poor choice,” she said. “I just pray we get past it, but I always know it’ll be there to haunt us forever.”
Attorney Cameron Sprading is going to bat for Skluzacek's daughters and for five other victims' families, hoping to keep pressure on the Perry School Board.
“Somebody has to stand up for these little girls,” he told News 9.
Spradling said there are still questions regarding Scott Chenoweth, the Perry Schools Superintendent, currently on suspension.
“Why is he still getting paid $8,800 a month to sit at home? What is it that this school board knows about Scott Chenoweth that they suspended him before they even the principal and teacher? And I hope that our families will know what that is,” Spradling said.
“The second thing that we're looking into is making sure that the State Board of Education that was sued by Kenda Miller, stands by their guns and has that hearing on April 7 and Kenda Miller come in there and explain why she should not lose her teacher's certificate,” Spradling added.
Sullins and Miller are set to appear in court on April 27.
Court records show Cowen will have his preliminary hearing May 8. He currently faces 22 counts of child sex crimes.