ENID, Okla. — The Enid Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously early Wednesday to immediately terminate Mike Dods, ex-police chief of Enid High School.

The board returned from executive session at 1:31 a.m. Wednesday at the Administrative Services Center after discussing the possible termination.

The board also voted unanimously to adopt findings of fact presented in the termination hearing.

After executive session, the Enid Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt findings of fact presented in Tuesday's termination hearing of Mike Dods, former police chief of Enid High School.

 

Enid Public Schools Superintendent Darrell Floyd released this statement following the board’s vote: “We appreciate the time and the due diligence applied by the Board of Education regarding tonight’s decision. This has been a difficult and divisive process, and we look forward to continuing to focus on what matters most — the safety and education of our students.”

Representing Dods, Oklahoma Education Association attorney Heath Merchen said board members made their decision long before they came into the room.

"The blatant misrepresentations before and during the hearing were more than enough to demonstrate it," Merchen posted on social media.

"Now, however, the real process begins. The goal was to get key admissions for the suit, which we did, and as soon as the notice of claim period expires, we’ll be filing. It will be a long process. Those in power will see this as an end to the issue … to the contrary, it is just beginning."

Seven hours into a special hearing Tuesday to determine the fate of the former Enid High School campus police chief’s employment, Enid Public Schools Board of Education had heard testimony from seven witnesses.

The special meeting set at 4 p.m. began with standing room only and ended nine-and-a-half hours later. More than a dozen in attendance wore red in support of Mike Dods. At 11 p.m., the auditorium remained mostly full.

School board members voted to go into executive session to discuss Dods employment at 12:20 a.m.

Earlier in the evening, the board heard testimony from administrators, principals, teachers, another campus police officer and an Enid High School math teacher.

EPS attorney Bryan Drummond told the board in his opening statement there was enough cause to terminate Dods.

“We have a person who gets a little bit of power, it goes to his head and he takes advantage,” Drummond said. “He thinks the rules don’t apply to him and he takes advantage of them. He had a duty to conduct himself in an appropriate and responsible manner.”

Drummond told the board Dods had inappropriately recorded a principal and administrator without their permission or knowledge, encrypted his school computer in violation of policy, installed security cameras in his office and lied to administrators about their use.

“I think once you hear all the evidence, Mr. Dods should be immediately dismissed,” Drummond said.

OEA attorney Merchen’s first words in his opening statement were: “I’m proud to represent Mike Dods.”

Merchan said Dods was nominated by the same administrators for a national award for campus police and promoted him to chief over two other officers.

“So, what happened?” Merchen asked. “Student A and Student B.”

Merchan said Student A had harassed and stalked 15 girls with the administration doing nothing because the student had special needs. Dods began an investigation and submitted charges to Garfield County District Attorney’s Office and charges were filed.

Student A later was released on bond, with a condition of that bond being he have no contact with the victims in the case.

Merchan said Dods got the sense the administration wasn’t happy with him.

“But, he was grateful the no contact order existed,” Merchan said. “The admin initially told him that the perpetrator will be schooled at home.”

Student A was allowed to return to school. Dods said he would arrest the boy if he had contact with the girls on the no contact order.

Merchan said Dods was told if he filed a report to get the boy arrested, he would be fired.

Merchan said Student B, the child of an EPS administrator, was involved in an incident where he wielded a pair of scissors and threatened students.

“He (Dods) finds not only had the student wielded scissor, he did the same thing last year, this student had destroyed private property, destroyed district property and had an extreme violent propensity,” Merchan said. “He had threatened to kill five girls. He had followed them throughout the school and tried to get into different areas of the school.”

Merchan said the Student B also asked questions about getting onto the school’s roof and asking how many students he could see from different vantage points.

“The administration had done nothing to either of those students,” Merchan said. “Officer Dods intervened. Officer Dods filed charges with the DA.

“The real reason they’re firing him is they are trying to cover up their own incompetence.”

Drummond called Dods as the first witness of the hearing.

Drummond asked Dods if he could file charges against a student even if there were no victims.

“It depends on the severity of the law broken,” Dods said. “I can file charges if there is a victim that doesn’t want to testify or something of that nature. I can still file charges.”

Dods said it was his recommendation charges be filed against Student B following the incident with the scissors.

Drummond asked if the victims of Student A, or their parents, asked to file a complaint against the student.

“They came to us and said they were scared,” Dods said. After being asked by Drummond, Dods said he elected to file the report.

“Do you have a problem with autistic kids?” Drummond asked.

“No,” Dods said.

“Do you have a problem with special education students?” Drummond asked.

“I don’t have a problem with autistic children,” Dods said.


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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Cass? Send an email to crains@enidnews.com.

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