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Candidate taken off Oklahoma City School Board ballot

A candidate for the Oklahoma City School Board chairman position has been removed from the ballot because of a previous felony conviction.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: December 12, 2012 at 7:12 am •  Published: December 12, 2012

Muhammad said she doesn't begrudge Monson. She said she is grateful to at least have her concerns heard.

“It's always been about the children with me,” Muhammad said. “We agreed to work together. We agreed to go forward together.”

Muhammad said she will consider running for school board when she becomes eligible.

“Not this race,” she said. “But the race for the education of our children? Always.”

Candidate worked

for district

Muhammad began her career with Oklahoma City Public Schools as a substitute teacher from 1991-99, according to district records.

In June 2001, she began working as a math teacher at Douglass. Three months later, she pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud.

Muhammad worked for the district until 2004, and had three other positions: dean of instruction at Star Spencer High School, computer teacher at Capitol Hill High School and night school principal at Emerson High School.

She then broke employment with the school district, a district spokeswoman said.

But soon after, she was rehired as the assistant principal of Northeast Academy in 2004.

Because her sentence was deferred, she could still be rehired, said Laura Holmes, an attorney who represents Oklahoma City Public Schools and works for the Center for Education Law.

After three years at Northeast, Muhammad worked a year as the assistant principal of Star Spencer.

She then was transferred to Douglass in July 2008. The Douglass principal, Brian Staples, objected to her transfer to his school after working with her previously at Northeast Academy.

In 2010, Muhammad was put on administrative leave. Shortly after, Staples was attacked in the school parking lot.

Staples recommended to the school board in June 2011 she be fired for disobedience, and she was.

Last year, Muhammad's son was arrested in connection with the attack on Staples. Controversy at Douglass did not end when Muhammad was fired.

In June, the NAACP accused Staples of altering grades and attendance records, and an investigation followed.

Muhammad was among those leading the charge for Staples to be fired. She filed a complaint against Staples with the U.S. Department of Education.

Staples resigned last month.