Archive for Kentucky

Campbell Jr. High Bullying Video

Posted in Bullying, Campbell Jr. High, Dustin Howard, Michael Kuduk, Mike Menchen, School Buses, Schools with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by Joan Graves

bullyingRecently, a video was posted on Facebook showing a brief altercation between two students at Campbell Jr. High School. The video was taken and posted by a student who was tired of seeing a fellow student bullied. The video shows a girl, Trinity, standing next to an unnamed male student. In the background students can be heard encouraging the students to fight. As the frenzy grows Trinity suddenly grabs the boy in a headlock and drags him off.

There are multiple problems in this situation. The trigger point for parents was the lack of Campbell staff. Superintendent Paul Christy stated it was “a small area” in front of a large school. He also stated that a minimum of 10 teachers and 2 administrators are always present during dismissal, when this video was shot. Even with the noise of dismissal I can’t imagine how that many employees could miss the sounds of a brewing fight.

According to Trinity’s mother, April, Trinity is special needs. However, she states the school has labeled Trinity a behavior problem. Trinity does not have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) in place, that all special needs students have.  Because Trinity’s disabilities don’t create a learning deficit, an IEP wasn’t needed. However, based on information provided to me, a 504 would have been appropriate.

A 504 refers to Section 504 of the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act. It essentially states that no one with any type of disability may be discriminated against. A 504 in place would have meant the school recognized Trinity as being special needs and certain protections, such as an escort to the bus each day, could have been secured. It is extremely interesting or highly questionable, depending on how you look at it, that Trinity did not have a 504 in place at the time of this incident.

Citing privacy issues Christy couldn’t specifically comment on this issue. He did explain steps he has taken to help curb this type of behavior in the future. High school students will no longer be allowed to exit the bus at Campbell. Buses will be assigned specific parking spaces so they are in the same spot each day, keeping students from wondering through the crowd. The most effective prevention however, has been in place for a year.

Affixed inside the front of every bus are two phone numbers. One to the Clark County Sheriff’s office (745-0290) and the other to Winchester Police (355-7443). A student or parent may call either and provide bullying information anonymously. According, to Christy this is the 2nd year the numbers have been available with only a single phone call going into them. With all the bullying allegations why is no one calling?  I hear repeatedly how the schools don’t do enough to stop bullying. This is your way to bypass them and go directly to law enforcement. Parents instruct your child to report bullying to the school first. But if he/she isn’t comfortable with that, or the school doesn’t respond then call one of the numbers listed above and get it stopped.

Here is where the story takes a turn. Prior to the altercation, April had been informed that the district was filing legal papers to have Trinity removed from Campbell citing she was out of control. The posting of the fight video changed everything. When I met with Christy he was clearly angry over the video being shared online. He had contacted Facebook to have the video removed but Facebook declined, saying it didn’t violate their terms of use. According, to Christy he wanted the video removed because “innocent students” were caught in the middle. I saw and shared the video because students circling around and encouraging others to fight are not innocent. Furthermore, you would be hard pressed to identify anyone by the video alone.

The video was allegedly used as a bargaining chip in a meeting between April, Christy, Campbell Principal Dustin Howard and Assistant Principal Mike Menchen. According to April school officials agreed to remove legal filings forcing Trinity from Campbell Jr. High into the Phoenix Academy, if April would remove the fight video from YouTube. April agreed.

The student alleges that she was “forced” by Christy to remove the video from her Facebook page. By doing so it would remove it from everyone’s page who shared it. The moment I received word of this I sent a text to Christy asking him about it because quite frankly, I didn’t believe it. But when he failed to respond I knew chances were high he did. Why else would he not respond?

I then contacted Board of Education Chair, Dr. Michael Kuduk, who, unlike Christy, will respond to inquiries even if he doesn’t like them. Kuduk was in agreement with Christy that the video should not have been online. However, Kuduk stated that Christy had no authority to “force” this student or any other to remove something from his/her personal Facebook page.

It is a shame that Paul Christy resorted to such excessive lengths to have the video removed. This could have been a post about the positive changes he made regarding bulling but instead we are left to wonder why Christy would invest so much time and energy into trying to get rid of a video everyone has already seen? It begs the question, what is he getting rid of that we haven’t seen? Let us hope, nothing. Because the First Amendment of the US Constitution is nothing to be trifled with.

In the future, Superintendent Christy, allow me to save you some time. I always download, save and back-up any video that comes into Stand Up Clark County. So, if I’ve seen it, all your efforts in the world won’t make it go away

Stand Up Clark County for free speech and downloaded videos.

Dear Deatra Newell: Love God – Love People

Posted in In The News, Lawsuit, Point of View, Winchester Sun with tags , , , , , , , on March 31, 2013 by Joan Graves
President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Martin ...

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the White House Cabinet Room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Martin Luther King Jr. created much needed equality, but he would be greatly saddened by your letter to the editor in the Winchester Sun. You were absolutely correct when you said; “People who really don’t like a people because of their skin color, gender, national origin or religious preference use untruthful flaws about that person to cause others to react negatively.” You know this because it is exactly what you are doing to me. You are making baseless accusations about me in a desperate attempt to paint me as a racist and cause others to see me that way.

I am neither unhappy nor miserable but  you and I definitely have very different definitions of equality. Do you think I should pretend to agree with someone just because they are of a different race? To me that is the epitome of racism. You are my equal and I am not afraid to tell you that I don’t agree with you. It never occurred to me that anyone would consider my stance on this matter as racism because my mind is color blind. I cannot conceive what I don’t see.

Perhaps you should stop looking at the color of my skin and accept that I’m disagreement is with actions and people not skin. Can you extend to me the same equality you want from me? If you cannot give equality to another then how will you ever recognize when it’s been given to you?

You said; “As a black American, I am proud of our school superintendent.” Why add the color? Can you not just identify yourself as an American? If color is added to a statement to make it more powerful isn’t that racism? I certainly would never refer to you in that manner because I don’t see your skin. I see you.

You also said; “The real issue is that the superintendent broke racial barriers as the first black female superintendent in Kentucky. I know this has been an adjustment for most people with different interests, but that’s just how it is. We may never see that day come in our life when we all can see and treat each other the way God intended, but it will come when Jesus returns.”

“People with different interests”? Do you mean white people? Because I’m willing to bet that if the tables were turned and I made that statement you’d be calling me racist. If you don’t want racism then why are you bringing it up? Why is it so difficult to believe that there are people who disagree with a person, not a color? Martin Luther King Jr. wanted equality all of us. He would never condone baseless accusations about race for either of us. He welcomed the opportunity to speak with those of different opinions because he loved people not color. He believed enlightment, intelligience and Christ-like love was achieved when we respectfully considered the views of our opposition.

Without knowing anything about me or having any sort of meaningful conversation with me you have jumped to the erroneous conclusion that I am a racist because I’m white. You have not discussed with me my points nor considered the possibility that I am not a racist. How exactly is that seeing me as God intended? The Bible is crystal clear on how God sees us all. “But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7  My opinions are based on Scripture, prayer, research, conversations with those I disagree with and people’s actions. On this earth that’s about as close as any of us can be to seeing the heart of a person.

You and I apparently have vastly different definitions of equality. I would never disrespect you so much as to pretend to agree with you just because you’re black. I would be a racist if I disagreed with a white person with the same views but pretended to agree with you. Not considering that I may just be a person disagreeing with another person rather than one race pitted against another says more about you than me. Are you so perfect that I can never disagree with your thoughts or actions? Do you find yourself above the remarks of Christ who said all fall short of the Glory of God?  Because if you do in fact believe in Christ, then you must believe all He said.  And He said we are all are sinners. As a Christian I can’t agree with your sins nor should you agree with mine. Yet, somehow my disagreements with you are not Christian, moral, ethical or opinion; they are racial to you. There is nothing Christ like in that.

Which brings us to another statement by Jesus. “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5.

Stand Up Clark County for the removal of all forms of racism and the God-like attitude of hating the sin but loving the sinner.

CNN iReport

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by Joan Graves

CNN iReport

My latest report on our educational battle. Stand Up Clark County & become national leaders.