BREAKING NEWS: Charges filed against three Lincoln school employees

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2019

STANFORD – Charges have been filed against three Lincoln County High School (LCHS) employees after an “alleged incident” that happened on Jan. 3, according to Lincoln County Attorney Daryl Day.

An investigation of the incident is currently underway, according to a statement released by Lincoln County Superintendent Michael Rowe.

The investigation was the result of a tip to school administration, which prompted the opening of an internal investigation including both state and local law enforcement agencies.

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“Due to the nature of the alleged incident and the ongoing investigation, no additional details are available at this time,” the statement reads. “While we strive to be open and transparent with stakeholders, investigations are confidential, which means information concerning the investigation cannot be shared.”

Rowe said sharing information could harm the investigation or the individuals involved but said at the conclusion of the investigation, specific information about the alleged incident would be provided.

“Rest assured students are safe at Lincoln County High School,” the release states.

Day said three employees of the Lincoln County School District have been charged with second-degree criminal abuse, a class D felony in Kentucky. The charges are not sexual in nature.

According to Kentucky Statutes, a person is guilty of criminal abuse in the second degree if he/she wantonly abuses another person or permits another person of whom he/she has actual custody to be abused and thereby: a) causes serious physical injury; or b) places him/her in a situation that may cause him/her serious physical injury; or c) causes torture, cruel confinement or cruel punishment; to a person 12 years of ages or less, or who is physically helpless or mentally helpless.

According to Day, Kentucky State Police obtained video evidence of an alleged physical altercation between one special needs student and at least one adult in the classroom.

“The judge issued the charges as a criminal summons,” Day said at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. “Best to my knowledge, none of them have been served yet but they will have a court date coming up.”

The three charged were adult employees in a Lincoln County High School Alternate Curriculum Classroom, according to Rowe.

There was one teacher and two instructional assistants charged as a result of the investigation.

“My understanding is there were three adults in the room and all three adults were charged,” Day said.

Rowe issued a second press release Tuesday, both as the Superintendent and as a “father of two school-aged children.”

“If the investigation confirms the allegations, I will be sickened and dismayed,” Rowe said. “School employees are placed in a position of absolute trust Students and their families should always have confidence in that. We realize trust within our own system may have been broken due to the actions of a few. This does not reflect our staff overall, and we will work diligently to regain the trust and confidence in us.”

The statement goes on to say the Lincoln County School District will not tolerate inappropriate behavior or contact between adults and students.

“Any allegations will be handed over immediately to law enforcement for investigation, and if verified, will lead to arrest, prosecution, and termination of employment to ensure these individuals can never work with children again.”

Rowe said communication with stakeholders is “key now and moving forward.”