Oversights by McDaniel, Bailey weigh heavy

Mustang Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel made a mistake – one that he owned up to completely. It appears this is not the case for now-former Athletic Director Chuck Bailey.
If at any point there are consequences for McDaniel’s oversight, he will accept the board’s decision, he says.

But School Board President Chad Fulton says for now, the matter has been resolved by the board and he believes they made a good decision on how they handled the situation.

Patrons of the school district have not been privy to all of the details involving McDaniel’s oversight unlike Bailey, who was terminated Friday, during a public hearing after writing a letter on behalf of his incarcerated nephew on official school letterhead.

Bailey has declined to comment any further on the matter.

In June, the Mustang News originally broke the story about McDaniel’s approval of a story on the district’s website without thoroughly reviewing it first.

Normally, something like this doesn’t raise too many eyebrows but in this case, it did.

That is because the story contained an endorsement of longtime Mustang High School teacher Mike Mason, a candidate for Mustang’s Senate District 45.

The details surrounding how the story was created and by whom really doesn’t matter. What does matter is how McDaniel took full responsibility.

He is ultimately the one answerable for everything posted on the district’s website.

The superintendent reportedly took immediate action after the mistake was brought to his attention.

This included calling on his bosses, the school board, and explaining what had happened.

As for the story, it was immediately removed, and McDaniel self-reported to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and the District Attorney’s office where no action was taken. Finally, he contacted Sen. Loveless, the incumbent in the Senate 45 race, to explain what had happened and apologize.

Fulton says public claims that the board has taken no official action against McDaniel are true only in the sense that it hasn’t appeared on a meeting agenda.

He then explained the steps the superintendent took, resulted from individual conversations with board members.

Claims that McDaniel’s mistake is of the same caliber as Bailey’s do not sit right with Fulton. He says the differences between the two are like “night and day” because McDaniel was remorseful for what he did and Bailey wasn’t.

As a board, members have not sat down to officially discuss McDaniel’s endorsement mistake but Fulton commented it might come up in January during the superintendent’s contract renewal.

Fulton said he and his fellow board members try to use common sense and do what’s best for the district but they know they cannot satisfy all.

And anyone accusing them of not being consistent, he said the board uses the best information they are given to make the best decision possible.

Fulton said McDaniel’s actions went “above and beyond” handling the oversight, however, he says there were no winners in the Bailey situation.

Mistakes are life’s way of teaching valuable lessons but for some, the lesson learned is a little tougher and results in deeper consequences, some we know about and some we don’t.

McDaniel’s lapse in oversight could still turn out to be costly in his otherwise seemingly unblemished career but unlike Bailey, he still has a job, at least for now.

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