Okla. Co. Judge To Rule On Emergency Order After Western Heights Public Schools' Postponement


Monday, August 2nd 2021, 7:31 am
By: Caleb Califano


OKLAHOMA CITY -

A judge is expected to decide if the Western Heights Public Schools can fight an emergency order, forcing the district to recognize the state's authority.

The decision was postponed last week when the school district filed to stop that order.

In its objection to the state's emergency order, Western Heights Public Schools cited a technical issue with the filing process.

The district told the state Board of Education they will not comply with the state's authority unless a judge orders them to do so.

The board's legal counsel told News 9 the state board regularly must put schools on probation to get them back into compliance, but they have never had to order a district to comply with the process.

"The district has refused to recognize the state's authority to this point, and in fact, (they) have said they will not recognize that authority until there's an order from the court," the state's legal counsel Brad Clark said on Thursday.

Friction between Western Heights Public Schools and the state Board of Education has been going on for months.

After placing the district on probation and removing Superintendent Mannix Barnes, the state named its own interim superintendent. However, the district is refusing to acknowledge the new leadership and chose a competing superintendent of their own.