Kingfisher School Board’s Moronic Loyalty to Coach Pit Fighter Costs District $3.5-Million…
11:43 AM EST on November 17, 2023
The Kingfisher School Board’s moronic, amoral decision to incessantly back a cruel football coach who enabled child abuse within his program will apparently cost the school district millions and millions of additional dollars.
Earlier this week, word came out that Kingfisher Public Schools have reached a $5-million settlement deal with Mason Mecklenburg – the former football player who sued the district for knowingly running a high school football program that put him, and I assume other players, through torturous physical and mental abuse.
The $5-million dollar settlement deal is 233% larger than a $1.5-million offer the school board rejected approximately 18-months ago:
The Kingfisher School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to reject a settlement offer of $1.5 million for the federal lawsuit regarding alleged hazing, bullying and physical and sexual assault within the Kingfisher High School football program.
The lawsuit involves the district and multiple coaches. The meeting went directly into executive session for about two hours. That was after the board voted to move the meeting to the high school cafeteria to accommodate attendees.
“I move that the board of education authorize its attorneys to notify plaintiff’s counsel that the board of education is rejecting the settlement offer at $1.5 million,” said Charles Walker, a Kingfisher School Board member, when the board came back from executive session.
I’ll admit I’m not a small-town rural Oklahoman good ole' boy who’s okay with enabling and supporting child abuse within a high school athletic program because I foolishly believe it builds toughness and character in individuals as opposed to long-term psychological trauma, but what were these asshats thinking?
Like, I know they want to protect their own version of Varsity Blues’ Coach Kilmer – a diabolic, hall-of-fame, "Do Things The Right Way" coach who was apparently fine with his players being hazed to the point of abuse – but you don’t have to look long at that photos of Mecklenburg's injuries, or do a second-read of the allegations he levied, to know that a $1.5-million dollar settlement was a fair offer by the victim.
Now, thanks to the Board’s devoted backing of a coach who helped turned locker room showers into teenage fighting pits, the cash-strapped school district is having to fork over an additional $3.5-million that could have been better spent on things like books, teachers, or a new football coach who protects his players as opposed to subjecting them to abuse:
KPS will pay $1.25 million from the general fund within 90 days.
The remaining $3.75 million will be paid from the school’s sinking fund - meaning it falls to the patrons of the school district - over the next three years.
“Our settlement is in no way an admission of liability but it recognizes that the students, the school, the community come first and resolving this lawsuit and returning to our focus to education was of upmost importance,” Glover said.
The $3.5 million settlement may not be an admission of liability, but it sure is an admission of blatant stupidity by the school board members and administration who rejected a $1.5 million settlement just 18 months ago!
In fact, their decision was so stupid, self-defeating, and egregiously detrimental to the district that I'd expect Ryan Walters to ask Kevin Stitt to appoint them all to the state school board any day now. If they can do this to Kingfisher, imagine the damage they can do statewide!
Anyway, now that people can see just how much Kingfisher Public School is having to fork over, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more victims of rural Oklahoma high school football good ole' boy abuse step forward. This has to be a common problem around the state that Ryan Walters will ignore, right?
Also, win/if those victims do come forward and more lawsuits emerge, I wouldn’t be surprised to see school district administrations and their boards back the coaches instead of abuse victims. That's the real Oklahoma Standard.
Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised,