Caller Threatens Oklahoma School Superintendent After Heated Meeting

Friday, January 28th 2011, 6:23 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi is downplaying a threat made against her after a combative Department of Education meeting.

An anonymous caller threatened Barresi Friday, forcing police at the state capitol to stand guard all day. Barresi said she's not worried about the threat. She's more concerned about what's happening with the education board. She said she plans to call for financial and performance audits following the actions of board members at Thursday's meeting.

"This is a board that does not want the light shown on this department," Barresi said.

Barresi chastised board member Herb Rozell during Thursday's meeting, after he said a liaison to the legislature would be "worthless" if she took maternity leave during a crucial time for the board.

"The first thing I thought was goodness gracious. This is not 1950," said Barresi. "I was in shock; complete, total shock."

Board member Tim Gilpin said Barresi should not have been surprised by Rozell's concerns.

"Barresi raised the issue and introduced it as this person being in less than full capacity," Gilpin said.

Gilpin also said Rozell was joking when he made the comments.

More: State Board Of Education Member Talks To News 9 About Heated Meeting