Owasso parents upset at not being heard regarding virtual school

Things got heated at an Owasso Public Schools Board meeting Wednesday night.

Owasso parents say they came to have their voices heard during the special meeting but did not get the opportunity to speak. Parents with signs in hand, asking to have a choice to have their kids in the classroom, left the meeting upset after they say Board members ignored their presence and walked out after closing the quick meeting.

The group, called “Parents for Choice,” hosted a community meeting Tuesday to talk about issues concerning virtual learning. Many said their emails, messages and phone calls have gone unanswered. Aaron Forst, an Owasso parent said, “Yesterday when they announced this meeting, we were hoping this was a vote to open the schools, but then we found out it was just a vote for a football game. We were really just hoping to have our voices heard and to get any feedback at all from the Board.”

Forst said he expected more from elected officials, but told us Board members refused to acknowledge his presence Wednesday afternoon during the meeting. Forst says the decision to have kids start the school year with online learning has created challenges in his own home. He says he recently had to give up two foster children because he couldn’t run a business, educate his own children and foster the additional children in the current circumstances.

According to Owasso Public Schools policy, The Board of Education or the superintendent *may invite members of the public to speak at regular Board meetings or special Board meetings called for specific purposes. The policy does not state that the Board of superintendent must allow comments from the public. Historically, it has not been the practice of the Board to have public comments at special Board meetings.

OPS stated the special meeting Wednesday night was to approve an out-of-state football team to compete on September 4 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The item was on the agenda during the last scheduled meeting on August 10th. At that time the Board chose to table that item pending the review of safety protocols at the site competition.

The next scheduled meeting for Owasso Public Schools is September 21. The district says parents will be able to sign up beforehand to comment.

The district released a comment on the situation:

“Each day we monitor data and trends as it relates to COVID-19. Our goal is to return our students to the physical classrooms as soon as the district determines that is the best course of action. We will continue to work respectfully with each parent or guardian of students and members of our community. Our primary focus will continue to be the education of the students of our district.”

Original Story 08/25/2020

Families in Owasso shared their concerns about their child’s education in a community meeting Tuesday at the Owasso Community Center.

Parents say they did not get any choice in deciding their child’s education when the school district announced Pivot to Home Learning - an online learning program.

Owasso parents say it comes after many of these families stressed the importance of keeping children in the classroom. They say after sharing those concerns with school board members during meetings and even holding signs during protests, their voices have still not been heard.

That’s why some parents formed the group “Parents for Choice.” Founders of the group, including Michael Blaue, a father to five, says the group grew to more than 1,100 followers on Facebook.-

Blaue says emails, messages, and phone calls have gone unanswered and parents want change. Blaue said the most important thing to parents is having a choice.

The group says they are asking school board members to reconsider and to give the choice between virtual and in-person learning for students.

Blaue says the group is gathering hundreds of signatures in a petition to recall an election for school board employees and replace members. He said if they get enough signatures, they plan to present the petition to a Tulsa County Judge.

Comments on this article





mobile apps

Everything you love about krmg.com and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!