Two mothers involved in a fight on school property — which resulted in two persons being taken to the hospital — tried to convince the Ardmore City Schools Board of Education their individual actions did not warrant a civility letter.
Both were issued civility letters after an altercation following the Oct. 4 Ardmore High School football game.
When a school patron is issued a civility letter, the person is not allowed on a school campus for the following six months. Exceptions to come on campus for various events can be made through the superintendent's office.
For example, superintendent Sonny Bates allowed Kisha Burkhalter to attend her son's football games. The exception was not granted when she requested a hearing with the school board. Because of the hearing, the board had to rule before Bates could make any other exceptions on the matter.
"I can make sure when they are on campus, they are not here together," Bates said.
At a special meeting Tuesday, the school board upheld the superintendent's decision to issue the civility letters in a 4-0 decision.
According to all parties involved in the altercation following the football game, Burkhalter asked Deanna Lima to stop texting Burkhalter's son. The conversation turned into a fight, which led to both women having the civility letters issued to them.
Both women tried to justify their actions as a reason why the civility letters should not have been issued.
"My actions were in regards to the harassment and threatening of my son," Burkhalter said. "You had a parent trying to protect her son."
"I have taken it this far because I am telling the truth. I did not initiate this incident in any way, shape or form," Lima said.
Cheerleading sponsor Aimee Garrett and parent Terron Hall were also involved in the Oct. 4 incident. Lima and Garrett were taken to the hospital.
Hall was issued a civility letter, but it was rescinded when the district attorney did not press charges. Bates declined to comment about any actions regarding Garrett, citing school personnel issues.
Police officers collected statements and sent a report to the district attorney's office.
"We couldn't determine a clear aggressor," said Ardmore police Cpl. John Randolph, school resource officer.
Both Burkhalter and Lima have been offered deferred prosecution that included stipulations.
The altercation was the result of issues that began in February and March from the relationship between Burkhalter's son and Lima's daughter. Randolph said he had spoken to Lima and other members of the Burkhalter family about staying away from each other. Burkhalter denies that a message to stay away from Lima was ever relayed to her.
On the day of the altercation, Burkhalter went to Lima to tell her to stop texting her son. According to Burkhalter, Randolph and school resource officer Sgt. Ruben Garcia, Lima slapped Burkhalter first, although Lima said she never touched anyone. Burkhalter was handcuffed at the scene by police until she calmed down.