LOST CITY — Editor, Daily Press:
I’d like to to thank the students, parents, and the Tahlequah community for the outpouring of support my wife and I have received.
My time as a teacher at Tahlequah Public Schools was filled with wonderful memories and opportunities to make a difference in many students’ lives. I would not trade these past five years for anything. The relationships I’ve built with students, parents and colleagues have made me a better person and gave me strength to persevere through these past few months.
I have been contacted by many students who stated they intended to quit the Tahlequah music program, in support of me and because they disagreed with the new direction of the program. I’d like to urge these students not to cut music out of their lives. Whether it is playing music in your church, taking private lessons, or finding an outside music ensemble to perform in, it is important to me that you do not use this situation to abandon your music education.
While we have been contacted by many in the community who were disappointed that so much personal information was included in the newspaper articles, I’d like to confirm that this was a situation my wife and I were willing to endure. I was getting pressured by the administration to resign so this situation would go away quietly, but it was important to me to fight and publicly denounce the allegations against me. Putting our private lives on display for the community was the price we paid for getting to state my innocence.
While it will be sad to not see my students on a daily basis, I hope they know I will continue to support them. They will see my face at graduation, concerts and other events. My desire to see the Tahlequah students grow up and attain successes hasn’t gone away. That’s what good teachers do: They desire for their students to succeed, and I look forward to hearing and seeing all of your successes in the future.