Ryal superintendent wins court hearing over suspension

by Andrew Knittle Modified: March 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm •  Published: March 29, 2013

During a special school board meeting held the next week, it was determined that Trower's contract should be terminated, but no reasons were made public.

Andy Fugitt, an attorney representing Ryal Public Schools, said that Trower requested a hearing in front of the school board to explain why his contract should be terminated.

The request was not denied, but Fugitt said a hearing date has not been set at this point.

Comments hurt some

During a six-hour long interview with a reporter from The Oklahoman in February, Trower commented that many of the students in his district don't eat unless they are at school, and many of their families don't value education.

“Their families don't see a need for an education past the eighth grade,” Trower said in February. “How do you get past that?”

Trower also made comments about high levels of drug addiction, alcoholism and other criminal behavior while driving near an area called Ryal Bottoms, where many of the district's students live. Bennett, the school board president, said many of the district's parents were angered by Trower's comments.

“The story portrayed the Ryal community in a very negative light,” Bennett said after the March 4 school board meeting. “The vast majority of our kids live in houses with electricity. They do have shoes. Their parents do work.

“Lots of our students go on to be schoolteachers, doctors, lawyers and professionals.”


by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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