TPS Board Meeting held in wake of Superintendent’s Gist Facebook post

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) board meeting was held after TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist posted on Facebook that Governor Stitt is on track to become “the most corrupt governor in 47 years”.

Last week Gov. Stitt called for an audit of TPS over potential mishandling of COVID relief funds.

Gist said the welcomed the audit, then followed it up with a Facebook post calling out Gov. Stitt.

She said Gov. Stitt has repeatedly gone after her, her family and TPS. Gist also called one of the board members, E’Lena Ashley, “blatantly bigoted.” Ahead of the meeting Gist said TPS should be fully inclusive of everyone.

“I know what she has said publicly on videos that she’s posted and other items that she’s shared on social media, and I know how people in our school community feel about that, how it makes them feel unsafe, how it makes them feel hurt and unwelcome in their own school district, and that is something I can’t tolerate,” said Gist.

Last month there were calls at a TPS board meeting for staff to have LGBTQ+ inclusion training over comments Ashley apparently made.

A spokesperson for Ashley, Charity Marcus, said that Ashley is not a bigot, she also called for Gist to face repercussions for the online comments. “She’s [Ashley’s] disappointed she’s come into this position being focused on supporting all children, protecting all children, supporting all parents and being very polite and trying to work with superintendent Gist, so for superintendent gist to come out and name call she’s disappointed as well.”

Marcus also said Gist could have been in breach of contract for her comments. “She [Gist[ has broken some board policies in terms of code of conduct social media and by breaking board policies she could be potentially in breach of her contract.”

However, a TPS teacher at the board meeting agreed with Gist’s comments about Ashley. “She [Ashley] needs to be held accountable and we know there a lot of hate with what she’s bringing in her work and it’s detrimental to our district.”