Fleming County Superintendent Brian K. Creasman said that a teacher has been placed on leave after an inappropriate video was shown in several Spanish classrooms at E.P. Ward Elementary School and Ewing Elementary School.
Creasman confirmed a WKYT-TV report that people in the video, who spoke in Spanish at times, acted out sexual innuendo while dressed in animal costumes.
“That video should not have been seen by K-12 students,” Creasman told the Herald-Leader. “It had no educational value in any sense or stretch of the imagination.”
Creasman said the teacher, who had worked for the district for several years, and taught Spanish classes at three elementary schools, had been placed on leave pending a review of the allegations that the video was shown to students.
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In a letter to families posted on the district’s website, he said:
“I was made aware of an inappropriate video that was shown in several Spanish classrooms at E.P. Ward Elementary School and Ewing Elementary School over the past several days. The YouTube video was neither part of the Fleming County Schools’ Spanish curriculum nor approved by school or district administration to be used in classrooms or shared with students.
“Moving forward, I want to assure everyone that Fleming County Schools addressed this situation swiftly and without hesitation, as videos of this nature should not be shared with any K-12 student.
“This supplemental video does not prepare students to become college, career or life ready. … We addressed the situation quickly so that further students would not be exposed to further inadequate and inappropriate learning experiences.”
Creasman said in an interview that the district has a common curriculum for all courses “to protect against things like this.”
“We can’t monitor every video, because we can’t be in every classroom every second of the period. But professionalism and educational common sense has to enter the picture at some point,” Creasman said. “Professional judgment should tell you not to do that.”
Creasman said the video didn’t include anyone from Fleming County, and he didn’t know where the video came from.
But Creasman said he is especially concerned because Ward and Ewing are both classified as distinguished/progressing and schools of distinction in the state’s accountability system, among the highest classifications given, and the Fleming County school district is classified as “distinguished.” Grades kindergarten through sixth are included in elementary schools in Fleming County, he said. “All our teachers are working so hard to move the needle for kids. This sets us back.”
WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner, said parent Heather Prushing was among those upset about the video.
“Nothing more than animal pornography. I mean, there’s no other description for it,” Prushing was quoted as saying. Prushing’s 11-year-old daughter attends Ward Elementary.
“You don’t expect to send them to school and have that kind of thing shown to them,” Prushing said.
The station reported that the five-minute, 11-second video, which was uploaded in 2008, began with a warning, with bad spelling,
that the video is R-rated:
The followng fashion show is rated R. Restricted- for expreesive cow nudity, obscene language, penguin violence, and some pretty stupid things altogether.
Creasman told the Herald-Leader that the video should have not been shown to students after the R-rating appeared.
Parent Johnica McDaniel told WKYT that she asked her 9-year-old daughter if she saw the video:
“She said ‘Yeah, mommy, but I do not know what that chicken was doing to that cow.’ And my heart just sank,” McDaniel said.