Knott Co. officials respond to racial controversy

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

HINDMAN, Ky (WYMT) - Knott County School officials addressed the issues Thursday about the controversy surround what some are calling racially motivated social media posts.

"Unfortunately a few students made a horrible mistake and put some things on the internet. We have investigated that, found the kids we think are responsible, and taken disciplinary action," said Knott County Central High School Principal Bobby Pollard.

He would not give us an exact number of students involved citing privacy laws, but he says the mistakes of a few should not reflect on the whole school.

"I think the pictures were inappropriate. I don't condone that. It is not representative of our schools at all," said Pollard.

He says he has asked certain posts be taken down from social media sites by both Cordia and Knott Central students.

"In the heat of the rivalry, I guess if you want to call it that, there have been negative posts on both sides," said Pollard.

A video was posted on YouTube after the district championship showed the Knott Central student section chanting "U.S.A.," but Principal Pollard was advised by an attorney who was present during our interview not to comment specifically about the motivation behind the chant.

"We've discussed with the pep section what is appropriate and what is not appropriate," said Pollard.

He says going forward he does not think there will be any issues with the pep section.

Superintendent Kim King also released this statement:

"We love each and every student in the Knott County School System. However, the recent actions of a few students from both schools has resulted national news attention. While this was a terrible situation, we cannot change what has happened. We can only move forward. We investigated, and disciplined the students believed to have caused this issue. We have taken corrective measures to make sure this does not happen in the future. In fact, Mr. Pollard and Mr. Mullins met with their entire respective student bodies to explain acceptable social media behavior; and acceptable behavior at sporting events.

However we cannot allow the actions of a few, to label an entire student body. As a county school system, there are numerous positives. Our test scores are excellent. We have three basketball
teams still in contention for a regional title. County football teams, speech teams, and academic teams, and numerous other teams/extracurricular activities have all enjoyed recent success.

Where do we go from here? Forward! We will put this incident behind us. We cannot build unity through division. We cannot undo what has been done. But we can all work together in an attempt to
make sure it does not happen again. I personally, and on behalf of the entire Board of Education, wish all Knott County teams good luck Friday night; and encourage both student bodies to support their teams in a respectable and commendable manner."

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