Education

Teacher fired after alcohol-related conviction. District notes ‘unprofessional’ emails, too.

Scott County Detention Center

A teacher who most recently worked at Fayette County’s special program The Learning Center has been fired following convictions that include driving under the influence of alcohol, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to school and court documents.

Terminations of teachers are not common in Fayette County.

Jacqueline Haynes’ termination was effective Sept. 30, October school board agenda documents said. Fayette school district officials and Haynes’ attorney in the criminal case, Richard Rawdon, did not immediately comment. Haynes could not immediately be reached.

The Herald-Leader obtained several documents from the school district through the Kentucky Open Records Act including court records and emails between Haynes and school district officials which show her termination followed convictions in Scott District Court.

She was arrested April 20. She was found guilty June 25 of charges that include driving under the influence, possessing an open alcohol beverage in a vehicle, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, online court records said.

Several emails released by district officials spoke to Haynes’ court case.

Additionally, on Oct. 7, in a letter to Haynes, Superintendent Manny Caulk told her that the language in emails she sent him regarding her termination was “often unprofessional and inappropriate e.g. ‘let’s play ball, Bitches’ as well as threatening, ‘Y’all gonna (sic) get a dose of Lexington reality. Welcome to the world of your north side teachers, Manny Caulk! Where (have) you been?’”

Caulk said in the letter that although Haynes was no longer a teacher in Fayette County, she still held a teaching certificate from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and was expected to behave according to the Kentucky Teachers’ Code of Ethics which mandates exemplifying behaviors which maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession.

“You assert you care about students and guiding them,” Caulk wrote. “I would hope that would include teaching them to act with dignity and integrity. The language of your emails further exemplifies the kind of poor judgment that led to your termination.”

According to a police citation in online court records, police stopped Haynes in April after she nearly sideswiped another vehicle.

A police citation which listed The Learning Center as Haynes’ place of employment said Haynes admitted to drinking an open Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita while driving. Haynes was unsteady on her feet and swayed while standing, the citation said.

The citation alleged that Haynes physically pushed away from an officer and attempted to escape custody at a hospital laboratory.

In addition to fines, Haynes was given unsupervised probation for one year after a 30-day jail sentence was suspended, court records said.

In an email to district officials in July, prior to her termination, Haynes said she had been on administrative leave since late April. She conceded in another email that “I understand that I’ve made a very serious mistake.”

However, Haynes also let district officials know in an email that she was frustrated that her years of hard work and dedication as a teacher, her past record, “doesn’t seem to mean anything.”

In an Oct. 1 email to Caulk, she said he was firing “a difference maker whose calling and purpose is to help the most needy high schoolers in Fayette County. “

And in an Oct. 5 email, Haynes wrote to Caulk that ”children from poor neighborhoods get overlooked firsthand by a school system that is their only hope.”

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