Tulsa Public Schools superintendent says she will not resign

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist says she will not leave her post, despite calls for her resignation from school board members.

“This is my home. I’m completely dedicated to the work we are doing!” Gist told the KRMG Morning News with Dan Potter.

Three TPS board members called for Gist to resign on Tuesday, after Gist criticized the board members who walked out of a board meeting on Monday.

“If this superintendent really cares about the children, if she loves Tulsa, she needs to step down,” said board member Dr. Jerry Griffin.

Griffin, along with board members E’Lena Ashley and Jennettie Marshall, have all called for Gist’s resignation.

Griffin cited personal attacks on board members, as well as Gov. Kevin Stitt, as reasons Gist should step down. Last week, Stitt requested an audit into the TPS district over an alleged mishandling of COVID relief funds. Gist released a statement in response that said, “All indications are that Kevin Stitt will go down in history as the most corrupt governor in 47 years.”

In addition, a petition is circulating that calls for the three board members to resign.

Gist released a statement to FOX23 that said, “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.”