Father Of Former Kingfisher Student Speaks After Alleged Abuse

For the first time, the dad of a former Kingfisher High School student is talking to News 9 about the abuse he says his child endured while on the school’s football team. Student Mason Mecklenburg will use his $5 million settlement to help ensure that no one else has the same experience.

Tuesday, May 28th 2024, 5:19 pm

By: News 9, Tevis Hillis


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For the first time, the dad of a former Kingfisher High School student is talking to News 9 about the abuse he says his child endured while on the school’s football team.

Student Mason Mecklenburg will use his $5 million settlement to help ensure that no one else has the same experience.

Mason’s dad says these past few years have been difficult but is thankful people are listening to this story.

The family’s goal is now focused on helping programs to help kids who have gone through similar trauma.

The Kingfisher High School football stadium is the Friday night heartbeat of the town of nearly 5,000 people.

“Our family was very much looking forward to Friday night lights. Mason loved football. His passion was football,” said Justin Mecklenburg.

He remembered his son lacing up for school for the first time in 2017.

He was only 14 years old, and the treatment he received was more than just rookie hazing. 

“From day one, he started to endure all different levels of abuse, whether it was physical, emotional, verbal abuse,” said Mecklenburg.

There is a photo of Mason’s back showing how severe the abuse was. During Mason’s sophomore year, multiple upperclassmen sexually assaulted him in the locker room.

“Mason’s case specifically, all of the abusers were administration or teachers’ kids. They were protected and knew they could get away with this,” said Mecklenburg.

Mason’s father says he knew about some of the abuse while his son was in high school. He tried to handle this with school leaders.

“I have text messages with board members saying, let's resolve this without the courts. We do not want to bring shame and embarrassment into this community,” said Mecklenburg.

In 2021, Mason sued the school. They finally reached a $5 million settlement.

“He said it to me this way. Dad, I do not like the fact that God gave me this platform, but he did, and I am going to make the very best of it,” said Mecklenburg.

The payout is provided through a property tax increase, and the family says it will go to an anti-hazing initiative. The Mecklenburg family also created a website called 'The Dark Side of Friday Night Lights' so people can see the truth that went unacknowledged by leaders in the Kingfisher School District for years.

Related: The Dark Side of Friday Night Lights (darksidefnl.com)

“We stand in the truth. Everything on that website is true with evidence. None of it allegations. None of it is subject. It is all fact-based, supported by evidence,” said Mecklenburg.

Coach Jeff Myers will remain with the district after the school board unanimously voted to bring him back as a teacher for the upcoming school year. Myers currently faces criminal charges.

“It's been tough to see people I thought were friends defending an abuse coach,” said Mecklenburg.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education says, “As you know, the safety and security of our students is Superintendent Walters’s top priority. Both of these cases (Jeff Myers and former Kingfisher assistant football coach Micah Nall) are under investigation and were assigned a hearing officer at the February State Board meeting. After the investigation is concluded, a revocation proceeding will be set in short order.”

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