Former State Department Of Education Employee Suing For Wrongful Termination

A former Oklahoma State Department of Education employee is planning to sue OSDE after, she claims, she was wrongfully terminated.

Tuesday, May 30th 2023, 10:17 pm



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A former Oklahoma State Department of Education employee is planning to sue OSDE after, she claims, she was wrongfully terminated.

“I think that the people in charge at the State Department of Education, if you aren't with them, you're against them,” said Janessa Bointy, former OSDE employee. 

After an Edmond high school student tragically took his own life in February, EPS’s school board meeting in March focused on mental health. 

During the meeting, Janessa Bointy, a mother with three children enrolled in the district, talked about the importance of student mental health. Bointy said she felt compelled to speak.

“We should always be asking ourselves, what's best for kids?” said Bointy.

At the time of the meeting, Bointy was employed as a School Counselor Specialist at OSDE. For two and a half years she said she helped districts improve mental health support and resources in schools. During the meeting she informed the district of available grant money.

Days later Bointy said she was fired.

“They took my badge, it was dehumanizing,” said Bointy.  

“The fact that the state fired Janessa just for speaking as a parent on something that affects her kids directly is ridiculous,” said Bointy’s Attorney Leah Roper.

Roper said her client was told she violated OSDE'S confidentiality agreement and media policy, which Roper says she never did.

“When you work for the state you don’t give up your right to free speech,” said Roper.

Roper said her client felt she was fired for supporting mental health in schools.

Bointy said she hoped the suit would bring more awareness. In the meantime, she hopes to find a job she loves just as much.   

“I’m not sure that I can find a job that will make me feel like a whole person again,” said Bointy.

In a statement OSDE responded to the impending suit and two others, and said in part:

“These legal claims are absurd, frivolous, and a waste of taxpayer time and money."

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