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Petition calls for resignation of three Tulsa Public Schools board members

TULSA, Okla. — A growing petition is calling for three Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) board members who voted down key agenda items at a board meeting Monday to resign, after those same board members called for the TPS superintendent’s resignation.

The Change.og petition claims board members E’Lena Ashley, Dr. Jerry Griffin and Jennettie Marshall are harming the district’s students and teachers after the board voted 3-3 Monday to not approve agenda items that included funding for school electric bills, bus fuel, reading tutors, wrap-around services and more.

They also voted down an agenda item which, if passed, would have approved the contracts for new teachers and staff the district has hired for the upcoming school year.

The three board members walked out of Monday’s meeting as Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist used her allotted time to tell them why she believed their decisions would be catastrophic for the district.

“We are failing our students,” said Gist. “Right now all across the city we have principals who are panicking for their ability to staff their schools.”

In a Facebook Live after the meeting, Gist called on board members to rethink their decisions, and will readdress them in a specially-held meeting Thursday.

Gist said in a statement to FOX23, “Our city, and the families and children who live here, deserve school district leaders who work through hard times and differences to reach decisions based on what is best for the students and the people who serve them. I am hopeful that the board will come back together this week to allow us to continue serving Tulsa children and to demonstrate to those who look up to us as leaders that we do what is needed in times of challenge. I stand ready to do all that I can to support our team during this time and to provide the board with all the information they need.”

The board members called for Gist’s resignation on Tuesday. Gist has since said she she will not resign.

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