The Woodward News

Local News

December 12, 2012

Board hears from concerned parent

Woodward, Okla. — Monday's Woodward Public Schools Board of Education meeting opened with comments from a parent who was offended by a remark from a school employee.

Stacy Marsh explained to the board that on Nov. 5, she had been contacted by Highland Park Elementary and told her daughter had not received a lunch that day.  Marsh was told her daughter had been refused a meal because the girl had failed to pay for one that morning, which is the time students pay for their lunches.

Marsh said she then showed up to the school to speak with the cafeteria worker who had refused her daughter a meal.  

She said she attempted to explain that her daughter had the intention of paying, but just had not done so at the right time.

Marsh claimed the cafeteria worker responded, "I was under the impression most of you all don't give a damn anyway," which Marsh took as a slur against her race as an African American.

Marsh explained that her family was new to the Woodward school district and found it upsetting that something like this had happened, and that it had noticeably upset her daughter as well.

The mother said she immediately began seeking resolution to the matter on Nov. 5 and was told by school officials she would be contacted shortly.  However, she said it wasn't until Nov. 27 that she was able to get in contact with Superintendent Tim Merchant after trying to contact Assistant Superintendent Tom Fisher.  Marsh said Merchant had apologized for the delay.

However, she said wanted to make the school board aware of the situation as well as the amount of time it took for her to be able to speak with administrators about the issue.

"I'm just disappointed something like this could linger for so long. I feel like it's the elephant in the room and it just needs addressed so it can be resolved. I'd just like an apology," Marsh said.

Board President Dr. Don Dale told Marsh they were unsure of the next steps to be taken but they would be sure to get back with her soon.

The News contacted the superintendent's office on Tuesday to try to learn more about what the district's follow up procedure would be for the incident.  However, Merchant stated he was unable to comment further on the matter due to the involvement of school personnel.

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