OPEA Saddened Over Worker Death

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association released the following press statement about the passing of Donald Wheeler, former OPEA Board member, and child welfare worker in Lincoln County.

“OPEA is shocked and saddened by the loss of Donald Wheeler,” said OPEA Policy and Communications Director Trish Frazier. “He was a dedicated public servant of thirty years and a member of the OPEA family, formerly serving on the OPEA Board of Directors. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and coworkers in this time of tragedy.

“Donald was tried in the court of public opinion and the media circus that surrounded a case,” said Frazier. “According to reports, he fought against the placement that led to the child’s death. Attacks from media and policy makers do nothing to help children and affect workers’ lives.

“Child welfare workers deal with unspeakable issues, day in and day out,” continued Frazier. “Donald’s death brings to light the incredible pressure and challenges workers must endure to protect Oklahoma’s children.

“OPEA will continue to support our state’s dedicated child welfare workers, who stand between Oklahoma’s most vulnerable children and those who would do them harm,” concluded Frazier.

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