The Oologah-Talala School Board president is responding after our report that the district is pushing back a decision on whether to fire Superintendent Max Tanner amid a misconduct investigation.
The evening of June 18, News On 6 reported the board decided to push back Tanner's annual evaluation to June 29.
Parents said the investigation began when Tanner let the high school girls’ basketball coach Trent Winters quietly resign in January after six complaints from parents of sexual harassment at the junior high and high school level.
The school board agenda said it met to consider the "demotion, disciplining, or resignation" of an employee.
The board tabled the decision until June 29, when it said the investigation will be complete.
Now, Oologah-Talala School Board President Don Tice claims our report "was false, misleading, and without any doubt defamatory."
He also said, "at no time during the meeting would the reporter have had reliable information that the board meeting had turned to a discussion of termination; in fact, the board meeting was not intended to discuss anything but the annual superintendent's evaluation."
News On 6 stands by the initial report and the sources in the community where we found our information.
After the report, News On 6 was sent the following from Tice:
After consultation with legal counsel listed below are the items that are of concern:
• The original broadcast and subsequent rebroadcasts were false, misleading and without any doubt defamatory
• The reporter had no credible or responsible source for the statements in the broadcast (and the report was not attributed to any source that should have led the reporter to believe that her information was credible—much less truthful)
• The reporter had the agenda available and the agenda fully stated the purpose of the meeting and that was the true purpose for which the board met; at no time during the meeting would the reporter have had reliable information that the board meeting had turned to a discussion of termination; in fact the board meeting was not intended to discuss anything but the annual superintendent’s evaluation
• The station has a legal and ethical obligation to retract and correct the story and to include an apology. To be effective in any sense of the word, the retraction must be clear, apologetic, regretful of the harm caused, and must be broadcast during the same time periods, no less than the same number of times, and for no less than the same amount of time as the original patently false and misleading story.
Quick corrective action is paramount to correcting the falsely stated information. Attached is a copy of the June 18th, 2020 board meeting.
You can also find the original story here: Oologah School Board Holds Special Meeting, Deliberates Future Of Superintendent