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Complaints against KSD being investigated

Two parents with children attending the Kentucky School for the Deaf have provided letters to a Lexington newspaper about various complaints they have made to the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) about the school.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, among the most troubling of the claims are two separate instances where police intervention was requested due to threats of violence, and those incidents were not reported to parents.

The Lexington paper quotes a parent as saying an incident that happened during last year’s spring prom where a former student made a shooting threat to current students resulted in a plain-clothes officer being on hand for prom. The parent also told the Herald-Leader there was another incident where a student threatened harm against several others.

There were no comments in the story from anyone at KSD. Toyah Robey, the school’s principal, said, “Our policy is to refer any questions back to Jessica Fletcher,” who is the spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), which is reviewing the complaints.

Fletcher told the Herald-Leader KDE couldn’t comment on the accusations because they deal with personnel issues and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and “are confidential in nature.”

“Normally, it’s up to the school to inform parents about threats like that,” said Danville Police Chief Tony Gray. He does not recall either alleged incident, and said, “I wouldn’t have sent a plain-clothed officer over there in that situation. I wouldn’t have been involved in that.”

Gray said how matters like this are handled completely depends on the situation. “How the threat came in; are the students aware that there’s a threat; are only school administrators aware of it … I don’t remember anyone from KSD making those requests to my department.”

However, Gray said he would do some departmental research and reach out to the former assistant chief, as well as some others, to make sure he’s not missing anything.

“But no, nothing like this comes to mind for me, regarding KSD,” he said.

The two parents also alleged problems with poor quality of food; bed bugs found in a dorm; students being allowed to return to the school after being found responsible for a death threat and sexual harassment; students not receiving speech and language services; and students being taught by an employee who they allege did not have state certification.