Legal Battle Continues As Western Heights Public Schools Again Argues For Injunction

Monday, November 8th 2021, 4:55 pm


More legal developments happened Monday in the struggle between Western Heights school district's suspended superintendent Mannix Barnes and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Attorneys for Barnes, who also represent the Western Heights school district, are asking again for an injunction on the state’s move to put the district on probation in April and suspend Barnes in June.

Barnes was on the stand Monday and gave testimony on events and issues at Western Heights that led to the state stepping in over the summer to run the school. 

This is the first time the public has heard his explanation about some of the issues that were used as grounds for the school district’s probation and his suspension.

Problems with the child nutrition program, in-person instruction days, and a past history of tension he feels he has with the state superintendent of public instruction were just a few of the issues debated between attorneys who argued at length trying to establish facts about years of problems at the district. 

At one point in the hearing, the judge questioned Barnes' attorney and asked why are we here, as legal questions that have already been ruled on my by both the district court and the state Supreme Court continue to be argued. 

In court documents, state attorneys said there are no less than seven separate challenges to the state’s authority filed on behalf of Western Heights.