Superintendent defies state after she says students testing exem

Superintendent defies state after she says students testing exemption denied

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The superintendent for a small Oklahoma school district took to Facebook after a testing exemption for two students whose parents were killed was denied by the state.

Donna Dudley, superintendent for Moyers Public Schools, says she went against Department of Education rules and allowed the students to not the take the test, even though she says the initial request was denied.

"As an educator and a human being with a reasonable amount of common sense, I don't feel like any test these students take during this time would be valid in any way," Dudley wrote in the post.

35-year-old Rodney Sutterfield and 32-year-old Crystal Sutterfield were both killed in the crash west of Grant on U.S. Highway 271 in Choctaw County, according to the Department of Public Safety.

The district asked for an emergency test exemption for the students, but was denied, according to Dudley.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi says the exemption was never denied, and the idea that it was arose out of miscommunication. Barresi says an exemption was granted today for the students.

Senator Ellis called for Barresi's resignation, saying the situation was unconscionable and a sign the DOE is out of control. The school district and crash happened in Ellis’ district.

“I’m tired of this, she needs to go,” Ellis said. “It’s not about republican or democrat. I’d say this if it was a democrat.”

“If these problems happened in the first few months, I’d say, ‘okay’, but she’s at the end of a four-year term.”

Barresi said she had no plans to resign.

“She did the right thing,” said spokesman Phil Bacharach. “She contacted the superintendent of Moyers. As soon as the senator heard about it, he did the politically motivated thing.”

“It’s ridiculous.”

Barresi said she called Dudley today to make sure everything had been worked out and said the call was pleasant. The Facebook post was still up late Wednesday afternoon.

A call to Dudley wasn’t returned.

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