FCPS principal placed on leave after ‘allegation of inappropriate conduct’

We’re continuing to learn more about a Lexington high school principal being placed on administrative leave.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re continuing to learn more about a Lexington high school principal being placed on administrative leave.

The Herald Leader is reporting Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Principal Marlon Ball has been placed on administrative leave with pay for up to 20 days following “an allegation of inappropriate conduct.”

We’ve also learned that while here in Lexington he goes by Marlon Ball. In previous positions, he went by Bernard Ball.

WKYT has been digging into why Ball is on leave and what led to his hiring.

Tuesday, Ball sent an email to parents announcing the death of Athletic Director Jason Howell. Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn told WKYT that Howell’s death is being investigated as a suicide.

On Wednesday, another email was sent to Dunbar parents, this one from Superintendent Demetrus Liggins, stating Principal Ball had been placed on administrative leave, saying in part “typically we do not comment on personnel matters and cannot provide details at this time.” He goes on to say, “However, due to the public nature of the situation, we wanted to provide clarification to families.”

In a statement from Fayette County Public Schools, spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said, “We are aware of concerns raised by members of the Dunbar staff. Reports of this nature are taken seriously and will be fully investigated.”

WKYT’s Samantha Valentino spoke with Ball on the phone Thursday morning. He told us that he can’t talk about the situation at this time.

Ball was hired by a school-based decision-making council in June, with an official start date of July 1. The process of hiring a principal has since changed, with the passing of Kentucky Senate Bill 1. Superintendents now have the final say in the hiring of principals. The bill went into effect July 22, shortly after Ball was hired.

According to Dunbar’s website, Ball has 13 years of experience in education. He’s previously worked in education administration in Florida and Dubai.

We have submitted open records requests in Kentucky into why Ball is on leave and also in Florida for his personnel records from previous education jobs.

We still have a lot of questions we’re working to get answered at this time.

This is a developing story.