Bixby Superintendent Announces Resignation Amid Sexual Assault Investigation
BIXBY, Oklahoma - The superintendent of the Bixby School District announced his resignation and retirement at a special meeting of the Bixby Public School’s Board Tuesday.
Dr. Robert Kyle Wood’s announcement comes during an investigation of a reported sexual assault by football players on one of their fellow teammates.
Court documents state the incident took place at Wood’s home in late September.
A release from Wood’s representatives says, “In light of recent events, Dr. Wood decided it was in the best interests of the Bixby School District, the Bixby community, and his family to step away at this time.”
The release goes on to say, “The media’s reporting of recent events has, in several important ways, been inaccurate, misleading and incomplete. Dr. Wood did not violate any law regarding reporting of child abuse; nor has he violated any District rule or policy. Because of the pending investigation, Dr. Wood will not litigate this case in the press. Instead, Dr. Wood will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials, and continue to respect District Attorney Matt Ballard’s investigative process.”
The resignation agreement states Wood will be paid all of his regular salary and benefits through October 31st of 2018, which makes some taxpayers angry.
"The amounts in this paper are probably less than it would've cost without a resignation," said parent Jake Rowland. "They're going to pay him what he wants to get him out the door."
An affidavit says the victim was upstairs at Wood's home when he was held down by other football players and sexually assaulted.
In addition to Wood, Principal Terry Adams, Athletic Director Jay Bittle and Head Football Coach Loren Montgomery are also mentioned in the affidavit.
Cell phones and email communications concerning the sexual assault were seized from Wood, Adams and Bittle, along with four students.
The Rogers County District Attorney’s Office is leading the investigation after the Tulsa County D.A.’s Office recused itself due to a conflict of interest.
The board says they've been conducting their own internal investigation and stated they are disappointed in the investigative work conducted by the district attorneys office. They believe the failure to correct errors in the affidavit has led the public to believe false information.
"It is troubling that no law enforcement agency has acted to correct the public record," said Bixby School Board President Ron Schnare. "The failure to correct clear and obvious errors in the affidavit has resulted in the public being repeatedly misled."
The Bixby board has held several meetings since the high school player assault came forward, but, until Tuesday, no action was taken against any district officials or students.
During the meeting, the board also voted elementary school principal Lydia Wilson Interim superintendent.
You can read the full release from Wood’s representatives below:
Dr. Robert Kyle Wood announced today his resignation and retirement as Superintendent of the Bixby School District. In light of recent events, Dr. Wood decided it was in the best interests of the Bixby School District, the Bixby community, and his family to step away at this time.
Although this has been a challenging time for Dr. Wood and the Bixby School District, recent events cannot erase Dr. Wood’s many accomplishments as a life-long Oklahoma educator, including his successful 11-year tenure as Bixby’s Superintendent. Under Dr. Wood’s leadership, Bixby has become one of the most academically successful and desirable school districts in the State. As the District has grown, Dr. Wood helped create a culture of professional excellence, managed the on-budget and on-time construction of numerous state-of-the-art facilities, and managed the District’s budget to allow our hard-working teachers and staff to receive annual stipends, an accomplishment that gives Dr. Wood great satisfaction. Dr. Wood left the District in great shape, academically and financially. He is proud to have helped position the District for continued growth and success.
In resigning, Dr. Wood expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to have served the District and the Bixby community as Superintendent, and extended his thanks to his many friends and colleagues in the District for their friendship and service during his tenure. “I am particularly grateful, for the many people who have supported me and my family through these challenging times,” Dr. Wood commented.
The media’s reporting of recent events has, in several important ways, been inaccurate, misleading and incomplete. Dr. Wood did not violate any law regarding reporting of child abuse; nor has he violated any District rule or policy. Because of the pending investigation, Dr. Wood will not litigate this case in the press. Instead, Dr. Wood will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials, and continue to respect District Attorney Matt Ballard’s investigative process.