School system charged with failing to report hazing incident

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

A Local school system is facing charges for allegedly failing to report a hazing incident that happened last fall.

A Kentucky law requires all school officials to report alleged incidents like this, and some claim that did not happen at Jenkins High School.

A hazing event involving several students was reported last year to school officials, and charges are now being filed because Jenkins School Officials allegedly did not report it to the proper authorities.

The complainants in the case did not want to be identified, but they did say they are ready for this to be over.

It's a law that some school officials may not know the severity of.

"It's a Class D Misdemeanor under Kentucky law, if a professional fails to make this written reports," said Pike County Attorney Howard Keith Hall.

Jenkins Independent Schools, their Superintendent Debora Watts and football coach Larry Maggard are all charged with failure to report dependency, neglect or child abuse to the proper authorities.

In this case it was a hazing incident that happened last year.

The complainants say "We just feel that the entire community has put a blocked wall against our entire family. We had to get a special prosecuting attorney on our behalf, we had to get a special judge on our behalf."

Hall says that this law is a tough one and teachers and administrators only have 48 hours to fill out a written report before they could get in trouble.

"There is no requirement that they turn over their responsibilities of their job or nothing in this law says they can't handle the situation themselves. This simply says they have to report it," said Hall.

As for the complainants they say the proper steps were not taken at Jenkins High School. "We want the school officials to realize that you can't get away with this ... We put our kids in their care, and they should take care of them. They have a job they have to do. They are held to a higher standard that the rest of the citizens."

Hall says the law is there to ensure the children are safe, and to make sure incidents like this are out in the open.

We tried to contact Jenkins Independent Schools, but our phone calls were not returned.

Jenkins Independent Schools, the superintendent and the football coach could all be facing fines if convicted.

They will be in court September 22nd.

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