Kentucky Equality Federation threatens lawsuit following alleged acts of discrimination

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 8:35 PM EDT
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HYDEN, Ky. (WYMT) - A typical tradition at Mountain View Elementary School in Leslie County quickly went south for one student as summer approached.

“Each child was allowed to paint anything they wanted on a wall here at the school and they were told to be expressive, express theirself, paint what they wanted,” Amanda Couch said. “My child chose to paint a pride flag.”

A flag that Couch said was then covered with orange paint. She also claimed that her daughter Hannah was denied entry to school’s “Spring Fling” due to her partner being another girl.

Couch tells WYMT that school officials told her that students from other schools were not allowed to attend despite officials with the Kentucky Equality Federation claiming to have proof that this was not the case.

“We have depositions from nine other people talking about all the different people there from various schools, it started with that,” Federation President Jordan Palmer said. “She was kind of letting that go for the sake of her children because she’s bullied enough at school as it is.”

Those same officials announced on Monday that they are on the verge of filing a lawsuit in both state and federal court against the school and the Leslie County Board of Education.

“Before we file that, we’re going to give the school the chance to make this right because as included with our press release, they can lose every dime of their federal funding for what they have done here,” Palmer said.

This comes after Couch’s daughter was given the chance to repaint her mural with what she said were school-forced restrictions.

“According to the children, they were told by the teachers that they could only use three colors,” Couch said. “Black, white and orange.”

That reality left Couch and her family questioning the motive behind the school’s diversity values.

“How can I believe them when they say we’re going to make a new rule and we’re going to be equal?” Couch said. “I’m not really going to take their word for it.”

WYMT reached out to officials with both Mountain View Elementary and the Leslie County School Board and are currently awaiting comment from both parties.

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