Mr. Barker, whose six-year tenure as speaker was the longest in state history, was removed from his leadership post by a vote of 72 to 25. Critics said the Muskogee Democrat's heavy-handed style had angered many of the chamber's 101 members.
James Levine, the girl's lawyer, said he was not suprised by the board's rejection and intends to file a lawsuit against the Okarche Public Schools. About 300 people attended the board meeting to show support for the teacher, who admits strapping the child to the chair and taping her mouth to keep her from disrupting the class.
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