Ryal Public School superintendent suspended over remarks against town

HENRYETTA, Okla. - A Green Country superintendent was escorted from his school's grounds Monday night after recent newspaper comments placed him in hot water with the town.

Dozens of parents and teachers packed a Ryal gymnasium to witness the school board's actions against Superintendent Scot Trower. In the end, many stood and cheered as local law enforcement walked the administrator out of the building.

Trower became the talk of the small town when a Feb. 25 article in The Daily Oklahoman appeared on residents' doorsteps. 

"Meth and alcoholism rule down here ... "(Students') families don't see a need for an education past the eighth grade," Trower said in reference to the school's "B" grade received in the state's new A through F grading system. 

Trower contends the comments were taken from a much larger interview but opened Monday's meeting by issuing an apology and asking for forgiveness.

"All I know to do is to ask for and hope that each of you can find it in your hearts to forgive me," he said.

It didn't work.

"I was offended and I'm not even from here," said teacher Maria Smith. "I've taught here for two years and I hate it for the people of Ryal."

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger, also in attendance, said it was "best that Mr. Trower tender his resignation."

After a brief adjournment, the school board opted to suspend Trower.

"Mr. Trower, you are to turn in your keys," said board member Robert Bennett. "When you are ready to come back, you can make an appointment and you can come back and pick up your personal property."

Bennett says the school board will consult with its attorney Tuesday to determine the next course of action.

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