By Eagle Newswire
Dr. Rodney L. Clark, founder and superintendent of the Langston Hughes Academy of Arts and Technology, has filed a lawsuit against staff at the school that have made statements attacking his reputation and credibility in his position at the Academy.
“It is my duty to defend the integrity of the Academy and to repudiate my detractors who have made groundless accusations attacking my credibility. The cornerstone of our school is integrity, a virtue that I have daily embedded in the lives of our students. The attack upon my integrity was a sneak attack, and I suspect to have been politically motivated,” said Dr. Clark.
The parties named as defendants in the lawsuit are Carmen Pettie, board chair and former board secretary of the Academy; Cheryl Henderson, a teacher/parent coordinator and testing coordinator at the Academy; and Heather Nash, an adjunct teacher and van driver for the Academy. The lawsuit is filed to respond to actions and allegations from the defendants. There will be a number of other issues to be addressed in the upcoming court proceedings.
One is regarding the grading system used at the Academy, which is based upon the Municipal Accounting System (MAS), a system used throughout the state and approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The staff at the Academy is trained in the application of the grading system and has used MAS process for the last three years.
“The instant litigation not only is to put the true facts before the public, but also to reply to any attempt to destroy the Langston Hughes Academy,” said Jim Goodwin, attorney for Dr. Clark.
“Thirty percent (30%) of our school population are students with special needs. In addition, thirty percent (30%) of our student body have dual enrollment not only in Langston Hughes Academy but also at Tulsa Technology Center and Tulsa Community College. The other forty percent (40%) are students who carry a regular school schedule. Our funding is exclusively from the State of Oklahoma and the federal government. Ninety percent (90 %) of our students qualify for free and reduced lunches. The school motto is “Changing the Perception.” Again, integrity is at the heart of our Academy. I preach daily the importance of integrity and the assault upon my integrity strikes at my heart and that of the Academy. For that reason, I have filed the instant litigation, and I want my students to remember that which I have admonished them daily, and that is ‘a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins,’” said Dr. Clark.