State

Administrator punched 3 times, kicked by student in district run by former Lexington principal

A Nelson County high schooler refused last month to go to the office when told to do so, and instead allegedly punched an administrator in the face up to three times, kicked her and threw her up against a wall.

The April 21 alleged assault was one of several in the Nelson County schools district that sparked a heated discussion at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

A speaker brought up the alleged assault, involving the assistant principal at Nelson County High School, as one case among others that parents say make for a school climate in which students find it hard to focus on learning.

Documents obtained by The Kentucky Standard through an open records request provide some details of the alleged assault against the assistant principal, although the student’s name was redacted.

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At 11:14 a.m. April 21, an eleventh-grade student allegedly attacked assistant principal Tanya Jury, according to a disciplinary referral completed by Jesse Simpson, another assistant principal at the school.

A school form labeled it as physical aggression (assault). The referral states that the student “was asked multiple times to report to the office, but refused. The assistant principal tried to escort (the student) and at that time, (the student) punched the AP in the face and slung her against the wall, kicked her, and then punched her again in the face two times.”

Under “action taken,” the referral indicates that the student’s parent was contacted, that the student would be suspended from school for two days, that the student would receive in-school suspension for five days after return to school and that charges would be filed with the Bardstown Police Department.

A court order was created April 24, which listed the offense as third-degree assault, and indicated that the student was ordered not to leave home without the permission of a guardian, obey rules of the home, attend school classes on time with no unexcused absences or tardies, obey the law, follow written rules and regulations of the school, no drug or alcohol use or possession, cooperate fully with anyone providing services and to also have “no contact with the alleged victim or Nelson County High School except for transportation issues.”

But an email sent to the judge and the student’s counsel the next day from John Pottinger, a local lawyer, asked that the court remove the no-contact order because the student was required to be in school for reasons Pottinger didn’t have details for. In response, the judge agreed and asked that the student be sent to school and ruled that attending school would not be a violation of the order.

In addition to the referral and court order, a grand jury subpoena was issued April 26, directing the district to supply Bardstown police officer Andrew Riley with any documents of any internal investigation regarding the assault, including written statements, video and discipline reports. The district was given until this past Wednesday to supply those records.

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