TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma superintendent resigned Tuesday in an investigation into allegations that several members of the school board failed to report immediately to the sexual assault of a 16-year-old footballer by a number of teammates.
Bixby Schools Superintendent Kyle Wood resigned at a special school board meeting, as pressure has mounted from some members of the community who have previously blasted members of the council for refusing to take any action on the assault case.
Wood was superintendent for more than 11 years, overseeing one of the largest school districts with more than 6000 students and a powerhouse football program that’s captured three state championships in the past four years. The program is large enough to attract numerous sponsors, including the national fast-food restaurants of McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A, and the athletic clothing company Under Armour.
Wood’s lawyer said that his client denies any wrongdoing and is together with another criminal investigation.
“Dr. The wood is not in conflict with any law with respect to the reporting of child abuse, nor has he violated a district rule or policy,” attorney Paul DeMuro said in a statement Tuesday. “Because of the ongoing investigation, Dr. Wood will not litigate this case in the press.”
High school administrators are accused of waiting eight days to contact the police to report what they have, for the first time as an “alleged hazing incident” after the football player told officials that a teammate had placed a pool cue in his anus through his shorts. The boy said he was assaulted in September during a team function at Wood’s house. He told the investigators that he was attacked in a similar manner a year earlier, at an event also held at Wood’s house.
The suburbs of Tulsa school district began investigating on Oct. 26. Her report included interviews with the boy and his mother, but a statement submitted by the researchers to provide a fuller account. The boy told investigators he was attacked by a player, while three others held him down. Researchers say that a fifth player recorded the attack on a mobile phone, and another one blocked a door, according to the affidavit.
The researchers said the officers’ lag in the reporting of the attack may have compromised their ability to recover from the most important evidence. A search warrant said that the officials of the school may have tried to “make no mention of the incident at all” — and that is a felony offense under Oklahoma law.
The board of directors the decision to suspend the accused officers pending the outcome of the research was upset some residents, of which one of the parents is blasting members of the council last week for the keep of the school management on the job having regard to the nature of the case.
The attack is being investigated by an external public prosecutor’s office and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Spokeswomen at both agencies said Tuesday the investigation is ongoing.
An Associated Press investigation published earlier this year examined sexual violence in the school and sport as part of a larger look at the student-on-student sex attacks. Teammate-on-teammate’s sexual assault occurred in all types of sports in the public schools, and experts say that the more than 70 cases in the five years that AP identified were an undercount.