2 Teachers File Lawsuit Against Chickasha Public Schools


Monday, December 24th 2018, 10:04 pm
By: Bonnie Campo


Chickasha Public Schools is the target of a newly filed, multi-plaintiff lawsuit. 

A former teacher, and current teacher, are suing the district because, they report, CPS ruined their reputations within the community.

The district disputes those claims.

This is a story that has been developing over the past year.

Read Related Story: Five Employees Suspended From Chickasha Public Schools

In December 2017, five school employees were suspended. Public hearings were later held by the school board to investigate the alleged crimes.

CPS attorney Richard O'Carroll, said the five were being investigated for, “…failure to report child abuse of special needs students and embezzlement of taxpayer dollars."

Two of the people suspended were Director of Special Services Pamela Huggins and Director of Student Activities Yohance Brown.

Huggins and Brown are both suing the district, claiming their reputations were damaged by the investigation. Their attorney estimates those damages at over $10,000.

CPS Board of Education, former Superintendent David Cash, Interim Superintendent Cindy Schmidt, former high school Principal Cindy Michelle Pontikos and Assistant High School Principal Kimberly Nelson are named in the suit.

Also, board members Doug Brown, Julie Hibbard, Julie Badgett Sinn and Attorney Richard O’Carroll are named.

Parents of the district said Huggins was eventually cleared from the investigation and returned to work. They also report Brown was cleared, but left the district to teach at another metro school.

But those same parents allege the teachers were originally suspended because they were speaking out against the schools Self-Paced Learning Center.

See Also: School Administrator Resigns In Chickasha

The Department of Education soon contacted the software company for login times, IP addresses, and grade override reports involving SPLC.

Early reports revealed, roughly 5,500 grades and more than 18,000 individual assignment grades were changed over a four-month period.

Significant discrepancies were also reportedly discovered in the number of times teachers logged into the system.

The Oklahoma State Auditor’s Office is also investigating a number of claims.

 

The district released this statement in response to the lawsuit: