Kentucky State Police have opened a criminal investigation in Scott County against a Garth Elementary School teacher in an alleged assault on a special-needs student, an agency spokesman confirmed Monday to the Georgetown News-Graphic.
“Yes, we have,” KSP Post 12 spokesman Trooper Bernis Napier said, when asked if an assault investigation is underway.
Napier offered no further comment on the investigation, which targets Jayson Featherston, a 14-year math teacher at Garth. Featherston referred a reporter to his attorney, Brice Caldwell, who said, “At this time we do not have any comment on it.”
The investigation was revealed in two search warrants and affidavits filed Friday in the Scott County Circuit Clerk’s Office.
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According to the search warrants, Featherston allegedly dragged an autistic student “down a second story hallway, onto a staircase, and then drug (the student) down the first floor hallway.”
The incident allegedly occurred Wednesday, Nov. 30, the day before Featherston was fired and Garth Principal Terry Quillen was offered the chance to resign, which he did.
The following day, KSP Detective Ryan Fox was sent to meet with Scott County Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub, Human Resources Director Frank Howatt and Special Education Director Martin Hendrix, the search warrant states.
Hub, Howatt and Hendrix told Fox they had seen school-security video of the incident.
The three also told Fox “the student had redness across his abdomen and chest area after the incident,” the warrant states.
“I then met with the student and his parents at their residence located in Georgetown,” Fox wrote in the warrant’s affidavit.
“The child described the event as being terrible and that his body hurt after he was drug down the hallway and a staircase by his teacher,” Fox wrote.
“I took photos of the child’s body where he advised he was hurt. At this time, there were no visible red marks or bruises,” Fox wrote in the affidavit.
The search warrants targeted school district records including school surveillance video, Featherston’s personnel file, records and certifications of crisis management training and the Kentucky Code of Ethics.
The warrants were executed at the school district’s Great Crossing Office Complex on Dec. 5, according to the warrants.
Hub did not respond Monday to a call seeking comment about the KSP investigation.
Hub also has not commented on Featherston’s termination or Quillen’s departure, except that the superintendent acted in the best interest of school children.
He did confirm that he gave Quillen the option to resign at a Dec. 1 meeting with the principal.
That decision came after a 3 1/2 hour closed session.
The board held the closed session after a number of parents, including the president of Garth’s PTA, pleaded with them and Hub to rescind Quillen’s resignation.
The News-Graphic reported that Quillen had not reported the Nov. 30 incident to Hub in a timely fashion, leading to the offer to the principal to resign.