Less than a week after State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters sent a press release announcing his intention to suspend the educator certificate of a man caught sending sexual messages to someone he believed was a teenager, the Western Heights Public Schools board voted to accept Hao Jiang’s resignation during a special meeting Thursday night.
Jiang, who was hired July 10 as a “RTI Coach” at John Glenn Elementary in the southwest Oklahoma City school district, had been placed on administrative leave in December after a video surfaced online of a group confronting him about messages they said he had sent to a person he believed was a 15-year-old boy.
In reality, Jiang was allegedly messaging members of the so-called Oklahoma Predator Prevention group who had created the account Jiang messaged. Just after midnight on Dec. 17, after Jiang apparently made plans to meet up with the person he was messaging but then backed out, the group confronted him at his home with printouts of the messages and livestreamed the conversation on Facebook.
During the confrontation, Jiang attempted to explain his online interactions with the messaging account, which had been ongoing for around two months up to that point.
“You just told him just a minute ago that you’ll always be here for him,” one of the group members said near the beginning of the video, when Jiang still believed he had been messaging a boy.
“What I meant is when he’s old enough to meet, I’ll be there,” Jiang replied.
Another group member then asked Jiang, “Are you attracted to minors? Are you attracted to children?”
“I am not,” Jiang said.
Later in the livestream, the group members expressed concern over the fact that Jiang works in an elementary school and asked how they could ensure he wouldn’t message any more underage kids.
Jiang replied that they know where he lives and “if it happens again, then you can report me to police.”
Police incident report taken, no charges filed
Police were called the night of Oklahoma Predator Prevention’s video, although no charges have been filed against Jiang. According to the incident report (embedded below), Oklahoma City Police Department officer Devin Wyatt reviewed the messages and had the OPP group members submit their livestream video and documented messages as evidence.
“[Reporting party] advised [suspect] believed RP was a 15 year old boy and was grooming him. RP advised SU had even attempted to meet up with the 15 year old boy at Target in Midwest City, however the SU did not arrive,” Wyatt wrote in his narrative of the incident report. “RP said that the SU had asked the 15 year old boy for a photo of him. RP said he had told SU that he was naked and getting into the shower. RP said SU then said ‘even better.'”
Wyatt then said he and another officer who had arrived on the scene asked Jiang if he would let them “look in his cell phone.”
“When SU opened the phone the initial item that popped up was a Discord conversation with photos of a young male, unknown if the male was a teen or in his early twenties, sodemizing another male,” Wyatt wrote.
‘The moment we found out, we placed him on leave’
Western Heights Superintendent Brayden Savage said the district placed Jiang on administrative leave the same day the confrontation occurred.
“The moment we found out, we placed him on leave,” Savage said. “We just provided [the police] any information they needed. We had been given lots of information, of course, about the situation, and obviously he’s no longer with us because we felt no matter what that police investigation proved, we have an obligation to do what we need to do first.”
Savage said that her district is working with the State Department of Education as Walters pursues the emergency suspension of Jiang’s certificates.
“I will not allow this clear danger to our students to continue having unfettered access to our education system or the students it serves,” Walters said in a press release Jan. 5. “This horrific behavior has no place in our communities and absolutely no place in our schools. We must act swiftly, and I will do everything possible to protect our kids.”
Walters sent another statement to NonDoc on Friday.
“We will not tolerate sexual deviants in the classroom. Western Heights needs to do a full house cleaning,” Walters said.
Jiang holds three paraprofessional certifications in elementary education, instrumental/general music and vocal/general music. Jiang’s employment at John Glenn Elementary — whose principal, Shane Murnan, has also been criticized by Walters for his side job as a drag performer — lasted six months.
Murnan, who performs under the moniker “Shantel Mandalay,” was hired by the Western Heights board in June to lead John Glenn Elementary. The board approved a number of other hirings at John Glenn after that, including Jiang’s on July 10 and kindergarten paraprofessional Paul Stafford’s on July 25. Stafford performs in drag as the persona of Carmen Deveraux, and news of Stafford’s hiring broke as Walters’ criticism of Murnan was making national headlines, prompting some to label Western Heights as Oklahoma’s “drag queen school district.”
The anonymous Substack publication V1SUT reported Jan. 3 that Murnan had recommended Jiang for hire at two Oklahoma City schools before both ultimately moved to Western Heights’ John Glenn Elementary School.
On Thursday night, Western Heights board member Brayden Hunt said the district had been intending to make a statement about Jiang before OSDE sent one out.
“The state superintendent’s statement was made with knowledge that the district was intending to make a statement later, so he was jumping the gun on our statement,” Hunt said.
Board members approved Jiang’s resignation without comment at their meeting Thursday night. Hunt said the board would have approved the resignation at their meeting Monday evening, but Jiang’s resignation wasn’t submitted in time. The bulk of Thursday’s meeting concerned final resolutions from a bond proposal voters in the district had approved in 2018.