Saturday, April 9, 2011

School News from Around Kentucky

Attorney says boy injured at Frayser Elementary was assaulted by two older students: Louisville attorney Teddy Gordon, retained by the family of a second-grade boy injured in a Frayser Elementary bathroom last month, said Wednesday that the victim reported being assaulted by two fifth-graders. Gordon said conversations with the boy, an older brother and his family suggested that the second-grader was attacked in the bathroom he was found hanging by his shirt collar on a bathroom hook March 23. Gordon said the boy may have been assaulted in retaliation for family complaints about bullying on a school bus. He said the boy's brother also said he was threatened by the assailants after the incident at the school (C-J)

Former teacher indicted on sex charges: Former Central Hardin High School teacher Steven Blake Gray has been indicted by a Hardin County grand jury for alleged sexual relationships with two students. Gray, 28, was indicted in March on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. He was arrested in December for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old student multiple times, as well as accusations that he had a sexual encounter with a 16-year-old student. Kentucky Revised Statutes make provisions for adults in positions of authority to be charged with sex crimes against those older than the age of consent, which is 16. (News Enterprise)

Jessamine County schools' disciplinary rate remains below state average: For the third straight year, Jessamine County schools came in below the statewide average in disciplinary consequences...Superintendent Lu Young said finding new suspension options to keep students in school, training teachers to handle inappropriate behavior and teaching acceptable attitudes have all worked together to curb disciplinary actions against students. “A big step for us has been overtly teaching kids the kind of behaviors that we expect in school,” she said. “Maybe 20 years or more ago, we would be able to say things like, ‘You know better than that,’ and what we’re finding now is that we need to teach kids from a very early age what our expectations are in school and not just assume that they come knowing better than that, knowing how to behave, knowing what our expectations are.” (Jessamine Journal)

Student bullying often begins at home, schools, analysts say:
In Scott County, schools across the district have been teaching ways to prevent bullying throughout the school year. The problem often starts at home. “Bullying is not just a school issue, it is a community issue, it is a family issue,” said Jon Akers, director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety in Richmond. “The schools are preventative, and often we are the last to know.” The definition of bullying is any aggressive behavior that is intended to cause harm or distress and is repeated over time. However, Akers said the Kentucky General Assembly could not arrive at a one- or two-sentence definition on what the term entails. “What the General Assembly did was look at the characteristics of bullying; assault, menacing, wanton endangerment, terroristic threatening, stalking and electronic media, using those vehicles to either harass, mimic or threaten someone,” he said. “Our stand is, every child, regardless of who you are, has a right to walk the schools and attend school safely. We don’t isolate one or two specific groups; anything short of that is unacceptable.” (News Graphic)

Student/Staff drug-testing Discussed in Marion Co: Before a drug-testing program can be implemented at Marion County High School lots of questions need to be answered; the main one being who exactly is going to be drug-tested. The Drug Testing Implementation Committee began discussing that very issue during its first meeting Thursday at the Marion County Board of Education. While some school districts only test athletes, other schools test all students involved in extra-curricular activities, as well as students who drive to school. Dylan Tungate, a student representative on the committee, said singling out students involved in extra-curricular activities could make some students less likely to participate in those activities in the future. To make it simpler, the consensus of the committee was that it might be best if all students at the high school were included in a random drug-testing program. But, Mike Cecil, the school board representative on the committee, would like to take that one step further. “I’d like to see us drug-testing all employees in the school system,” he said. “I think everybody in the system needs to do it.” (Lebanon Enterprise by way of KSBA)

Outrageous hike - Provider seeks huge increase in cost of Internet service: To say that Madison County School Superintendent Tommy Floyd developed a severe case of sticker shock when he opened the bill from Time Warner Cable Inc. for Internet service for the 2011-12 school year would be an understatement. And no wonder: Time Warner Cable (TWC) is seeking a 1,500 percent hike in what it charges the school system for Internet service. To further complicate matters, under state law, TWC is the only company Madison County schools can contract with for Internet access. Thus, the school system cannot seek bids from other Internet providers for the service that is essential for any school district. Under an agreement with the now defunct Adelphia cable company, the school district has been paying $90,000 a year for Internet service. Now that TWC has taken over Adelphia and the district’s contract with Adelphia is expiring, TWC is asking for a new one-year contract costing more than $1.4 million. (Independent)

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