Catoosa teacher suspended over accusations of piling students into car, trunk for errand

CATOOSA, Okla. - A Green Country teacher's job is on the line after allegations of wrongdoing.

Heather Cagle, who teaches math and yearbook at Catoosa's Wells Middle School, is accused of loading nearly a dozen students into her Honda Accord to run an errand.  Two of those students are alleged to have ridden in the trunk.

A police report was filed Oct. 30 by one of the children's guardians.  According to the complaint, the woman's granddaughter told her she was one of 11 students loaded into Cagle's car Oct. 21 for a trip to Walmart for snacks. 

According to the complaint, the "students were piled in (the) car with no seatbelts on and two (children) in the trunk."

Julia tells us her 12-year-old granddaughter was one of the kids who rode inside the trunk.

"What if on the way to Walmart that trunk had been hit? Those children could have died. What if those children, wandering around Walmart, one of them got snatched?"

The complaint says the children walked around the store unsupervised before heading back to school, and the woman says Cagle did not have permission to take her granddaughter off school grounds.

Cagle, who is currently suspended with pay, will learn her future with the district at a December hearing.  While the superintendent recommended Cagle be fired, board members were split on their decision at a special meeting Monday.

Catoosa cheerleaders attended the meeting to show support for Cagle who also coach's the varsity cheer team. "You can go to her and she'll be there for you," said cheerleader Jayde Hightower. "We want her to know we're backing her 110% and no matter what happens, she's still our coach and we love her."

Julia believes Cagle's split second decision cost her a lesson of a lifetime. "What errand did she have to really run that she was willing to endanger her job, livelihood and position? Apparently something pretty important."

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