2 Oklahoma men charged after contentious Board of Education meeting

The Associated Press - July 15, 2023 8:16 am

A line of people wanting to attend the Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting extends all the way to the outside doors, Thursday, June 22, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two Oklahoma men are facing criminal charges after scuffling that broke out when the two allegedly tried to control access to a State Board of Education meeting last month.

They both were charged on Friday in Oklahoma County District Court with obstructing passage through a state-owned building. One man also is charged with two counts of assault and battery, while the other is facing an additional charge of disturbing a state employee. All the charges are misdemeanors.

Online court records show arrest warrants were issued on Monday for both men, but do not indicate whether either has an attorney who could speak on their behalf.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper who was at the June 22nd State Board of Education meeting in Oklahoma City wrote in an affidavit that he saw both men blocking people from entering the meeting. The trooper also reviewed video that showed one of them grabbing a woman to prevent her from entering the meeting room and shoving a security officer.

State Board of Education meetings are typically routine, but have grown increasingly contentious and crowded under new Republican State Superintendent Ryan Walters, who has made fighting “woke ideology” in public schools a priority of his administration.

 

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