The Ninnekah Public Schools' school board made a unanimous decision to suspend the district’s superintendent and its high school principal during its Wednesday night meeting.
“The only option is to suspend the superintendent Todd Bunch with pay,” one of the school board members said.
The board also took action against the high school principal.
“I make a motion to suspend David Pitts, effective immediately,” one of the members said.
Community members said the decisions are a sigh of relief.
“It’s just a relief,” Ninnekah parent Joseph Morris said. “You saw the emotion of the crowd and how we are all happy.”
This is continued fallout from the arrest of Ronald Akins. The former girls’ basketball coach is accused of sexually preying on students for years.
“There has been so much oppression and people have not been able to speak out. They’re gone!” Ninnekah parent Shelby Ross said. “We can focus on cleaning up the school. We can focus on healing. We can bring people in that actually care about our children.”
New court documents revealed three more alleged victims have come forward since the initial lawsuit was leveled against Akins.
Claimants said they suffered “unlawful sexual contact”, “emotional manipulation” and “retaliation by Akins.”
‘We’ve had many kids say, ‘We didn’t think you would believe us’, and it is just so sad that they think that we wouldn’t believe them,” Morris said.
The three recent claimants bringing the overall total to 18 accusers. Still, community members told News 9 there's more to be done.
“This is nowhere near done. This is a marathon, not a sprint, but the first of many battles has been won today,” Ross said. “Now we can focus on insuring that our children get justice.”
The two parents News 9 spoke to said once they got wind of the allegations, they enrolled their kids in another school district.
After Wednesday’s decision, there's hope they will return their children to Ninnekah Public Schools.