TPS School Board Member Files Police Report Against Colleagues

KTUL - December 28, 2023 12:34 pm

A Tulsa public school board member has filed a police report against three of her fellow colleagues.

Dr. Jennettie Marshall is alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act.

“This whole process has been clouded,” said Dr. Marshall at the school board meeting two weeks ago, raising concerns during the meeting about the process, or lack thereof, of selecting the next superintendent of TPS.

“It is the board and the process that’s in question here,” she said.

Dr. Ebony Johnson had been the interim superintendent ever since the resignation of Dr. Gist, and now that the board was about to vote on making her regular superintendent, Dr. Marshall was asking what about other people who wanted to apply for the job?

“Why were interested, qualified and prepared team Tulsa members overlooked?,” she asked.

Dr. Marshall would then go on to ask for a national search.

“And I would take the option to make a motion that we begin a national search,” she said.

That motion would go nowhere, with the board eventually voting to appoint Dr. Johnson as superintendent to thunderous applause.

But last week there was another type of thunder as Dr. Marshall filed a police report with TPD claiming that “multiple violations of the OK Open Meetings Act” had occurred, listing board members Croisant, Wooley, and Diamond Marshall as suspects.

“My concern is with the board, the lack of transparency and the process,” said Dr. Marshall during the board meeting.

“My complaint with TPS has been always, they don’t follow the law. The don’t follow regulations,” said attorney Maria Seidler. She is currently preparing a lawsuit against TPS asserting that school policy requires some sort of search.

“The first thing the board should do when the superintendent resigns, and it goes straight into designing a search,” she said.

By not doing that, says Seidler, the court should nullify the superintendent’s contract and start over.

“Just to clarify, you don’t have any problem with Dr. Johnson per say, your problem is with the board kind of making things up willy nilly on the fly to do whatever they want to do. Is that it?,” asked News Channel 8.

“I would say I think that’s exactly what the president and vice president of the TPS board has done. They had a goal they wanted and they’ve been manipulating the process, they’ve been manipulating the Open Records Act in order to accomplish that,” she said.

The lawsuit could be filed as soon as next week. News Channel 8 reached out to TPS for comment but have not heard back. Board member John Croisant however, did comment saying, “Dr. Marshall’s claims are false.”

 

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