Violence at Kentucky School for the Deaf Concealed from Parents

The Advocate Messenger in Kentucky followed the Lexington Herald-Ledger in sharing reports that parents of students that attend Kentucky School for the Deaf have submitted to newspapers in Lexington regarding safety of their children. There have been reports of interventions by police and parents not being notified.

“According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, among the most troubling of the claims are two separate instances where police intervention was requested due to threats of violence, and those incidents were not reported to parents.” (Advocate-Messenger)

The Herald-Ledger reported that “Christy Adkins , whose daughter is a junior at the school, said in a Feb. 13 letter to state board members that parents have not been notified when students were threatened in incidents that required police intervention.” However this statement seems to not ring any bells for the Danville Police Chief, Tony Gray. He says he does not recall any alleged incident and also clarified that it’s up to the school whether they want to inform parents about threats. He also said, “I wouldn’t have sent a plain-clothed officer over there in that situation. I wouldn’t have been involved in that.”

Gray also said that he is unaware and does not remember any requests made by Kentucky School for the Deaf coming through his department at the time however such complaints are handled based on the situation.

Jacobs Hall, Kentucky School for the Deaf  : In 1827, the Kentucky School for the Deaf moved from "the Yellow House" to its present location. Jacobs Hall is located there. Courtesy the Boyle County Library.

Jacobs Hall, Kentucky School for the Deaf: In 1827, the Kentucky School for the Deaf moved from "the Yellow House" to its present location. Jacobs Hall is located there. Courtesy the Boyle County Library.

Another parent, Tamara Cummins also shared some information with the State Board of Education and the advisory board of the school about a variety of complaints including students who was found responsible for a death threat and sexual harassment being allowed to return to school with much fuss made of it. She also complained that parents were not informed of these issues.

Both mothers are afraid for their children. Cummins told the Herald-Leader. “I’m losing trust in the institution because of a lack of communication.” Kentucky School for the Deaf, founded in 1823, is home to approximately 100 students, some of whom live on campus through the week while others travel daily to attend classes from their home district. (according to their website)

When contacted by The Advocate-Messenger, Toyah Robey, the school’s principal responded with a cookie-cutter deflection as per school policy when handling media. “Our policy is to refer any questions back to Jessica Fletcher.” In turn, Fletcher who is the spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), informed the Herald-Ledger that KDE couldn’t make any comments due to IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and “are confidential in nature.”

In attempts to further investigate how the school manual is designed to address such issues, it has become apparent that the online manual is not in working order hence parents being concerned about their ability to address issues. The school has made no efforts to make comments about these statements made to the state board of education and advisory board of the school. DSTidbit News will continue to update the story as it unfolds.