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Committee to oversee LPS bond spending

The Lawton Board of Education approved the list of Bond Oversight Committee members at Thursday's board meeting. 

Vice President Kent Jester and members Patty Neuwirth and Kelly Edwards looked over the list of old and new members presented by Superintendent Tom Deighan before approving the list.

The Bond Oversight Committee, made up of community members, was formed in the 2014-15 school year as an additional watchdog group to review the expenditures and planned expenditures using bond funds. Bond funds "can only be spent on how it is described in the proposal," Deighan said. Any expenditures "will be overseen by a state-approved auditor, the board of education and the bond oversight committee."

At the last meeting of the committee, the need for new members was raised, with the group specifically mentioning that women and parents would be good additions to the oversight committee. 

"Since we had several parents that were very involved in our recent bond proposal  Kimber Downing, John Naberhaus, Robin Hamilton and Amanda Nunez  from the beginning I thought they would be great people to help with the group," Deighan said. "We also left a spot for PEAL and added the Comanche Country Retired Educator   it is great to have them on board."

The other members, who have been on the committee since 2014-2015 are: Todd Bridges, John Dunaway, David Hale, Scott Hatch, Brian Henry (co-chair from 2017-2019), Dwight Morrisey, Hossein Moini, Ed Petersen, Michael Sapenter, Willie Smith, Charles Whitlow (co-chair 2016-2018), Willie Guest and Charles C. Owens. 

Grievance hearing 

After a short recess, the board members along with school attorney Chuck Wade, heard the "matter of the grievance of Cara and Chris Hall on behalf of A.C."

The Halls represented their grievance which asked for non-monetary remedies to allow A.C. to be able to be involved in music and choir participation activities at Eisenhower High. This request was despite A.C. withdrawing on Aug. 21 from Eisenhower High's choir class taught by Deborah Wood. Cara Hall cited "discrimination, retaliation and humiliation in reference to A.C.'s disabilities" in the Discrimination Complaint originally filed on Sept. 7.

A.C., a senior at Eisenhower High this year, has been in Wood's choir class beginning since A.C.'s sophomore year. A.C. has more than one disability that was diagnosed including the need to eat more frequently and, more recently, to wear a "boot" for a foot problem. The Halls contend that remarks from Wood to A.C. upset and humiliated her on a regular basis, with the final straw coming at the beginning of school this year. A.C. believed she would not be allowed to participate in Gentry at all  a choir which does choreography  because of her foot issues and comments from Wood. 

Once A.C. dropped out, participation in other musical activities at the high school as well as gaining points for awards was denied. The Halls also stated that the school denied changing A.C.'s schedule to be able to enroll in choir at Cameron University, to allow A.C. to participate in Cameron's choir. A.C. had to drop the class.

The complaint went to the Grievance Committee, which found no supporting evidence of discrimination, retaliation and humiliation related to A.C.'s disability resulting in the Halls appealing the Committee's decision to Deighan.  

Deighan heard the Halls' appeal on Oct. 26 and his decision allowed some of the Halls' requests for A.C. 

The Lawton Constitution

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