Yukon bullying lawsuit tied to school district's FFA program

Two parents are suing Yukon Public Schools for negligence in Canadian County District Court, alleging school officials didn't do enough to protect their children from bullying and harassment within the district's FFA program.
by Andrew Knittle Published: November 6, 2012
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Soupene's daughter, who was an FFA officer as a junior last school year, was excluded from group events and was “misinformed” on one occasion about an officer meeting.

“On May 9, 2012, Vo-Ag teacher Tim Herren sent (the girl) on an errand to pick up deposit slips,” the lawsuit states. “Upon returning, (the girl) was locked out of the Ag office by other Vo-Ag students. (The girl) knocked on the door and the window, but was ignored by three students in the office.”

The girl also was the only junior FFA officer who wasn't re-elected to her post last year, court records show.

Court documents state that “agents” of the Yukon school district and other FFA parents “improperly urged” Wright and Soupene to keep the “skimming” allegations quiet.

“When Plaintiff Wright attended a Vo-Ag parents' meeting in February 2011, she was approached by another parent and told the allegations of skimming should be kept in-house and kept quiet to protect the students and the program,” the lawsuits states.

Denton said the school district would only respond to the allegations in court and would not comment on specifics until that time. He said did say that bullying was something Yukon Public Schools doesn't tolerate.

“We have an absolute, no-tolerance bullying policy,” Denton said. “We have extensive training for our students, our parents … all of our staff are trained. We have a very limited amount of bullying, but when we do, we take it very seriously and we investigate those allegations.”

Wright and Soupene issued a joint statement Monday afternoon, saying the bullying and harassment has been hard on their daughters.

“As a result of our coming forward and bringing evidence of massive criminal and fraudulent activity in the Yukon Ag department, our innocent daughters have been bullied, harassed, isolated, and discriminated against by faculty, parents and students alike,” the women said. “The behavior these innocent girls have been subjected to and the experiences they have lost as a result of our coming forward is the real tragedy in this terrible situation.”

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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