KINGFISHER PUBLIC SCHOOLS SETTLES FEDERAL CIVIL ABUSE LAWSUIT FOR $5 MILLION
Ch 9 - November 17, 2023 7:26 am
KINGFISHER, Okla. –
A settlement has been reached for $5 million in the federal civil suit against Kingfisher Public Schools and several coaches, according to Superintendent David Glover.
The district agreed to the settlement with Mason Mecklenburg
“The decision was reached to settle was from the advice of our counsel,” Glover told the Kingfisher Times & Free-Press. “There were a number of factors that went into the decision by our board but it was decided that the risk to our school system and to our patrons was too great to gamble on a jury trial that our attorneys just did not think we could win.”
Mecklenburg’s attorney, Nathan Hall, spoke about almost two decades of alleged abuse and cover-ups at the hands of current Kingfisher football coach, Jeff Myers, saying that coaches and administration at Kingfisher knew about many of the instances and did nothing about them.
“We have a well-documented record that multiple students have been subjected to bullying, hazing, abuse, and sexual assault, boys in the locker room at Kingfisher Public Schools, yet Kingfisher refuses to do anything about it,” said Hall.
The lawsuit claimed the Mecklenburg’s first brought forward claims involving the alleged abuse of their son in 2021. However, they’re asserting that district and state officials have failed to take needed action.
Court documents alleged that for almost two decades, the Kingfisher football program has condoned bullying, hazing, violence, and child abuse. Those suing say head football coach Jeff Myers bears responsibility.
Myers is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of a felony charge of child neglect that was filed in October.
KPS is to pay $1.25 million from the fund within 90 days. The rest of the $3.75 million will be paid over the course of the next 3 years from the school’s sinking fund.
Glover stated the settlement is not a recognition of liability but is meant to recognize that the community comes first. By settling this lawsuit, he says the district can return their focus to education.