Craig Henry PLC successfully defended a Kentucky teacher accused by the Cabinet of Health and Family Services of causing two special education students emotional or physical harm. Cabinet workers at the local level substantiated allegations of abuse, but after a hearing in which the teacher was finally able to present witnesses in her defense, the hearing officer recommended reversing the Cabinet’s findings.
In the first case, the hearing officer determined that the Cabinet’s only witness to the alleged abuse provided testimony that was “labored at best” and “lacked credibility.” He further found that the teacher’s testimony was “very honest and heartfelt and was supported by the very sincere testimony of the child’s mother.”
The second case was particularly troubling because the Cabinet substantiated a child abuse allegation based only on the fact that the teacher required the child to participate in classroom activities that he did not like. In this case, the hearing officer found that the only evidence supporting the allegation was hearsay evidence and “further concluded that the evidence presented at the hearing failed to establish any risk of physical injury or emotional injury” to the child.
Teachers who find themselves being investigated by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services are in a particularly precarious situation because a substantiated allegation may result in being placed on the abuse registry and limiting their ability to continue their career. Teachers must make careful decisions regarding their participation in Cabinet investigations and must follow strict deadlines for appealing a substantiation decision.
Craig Henry PLC offers state-wide, cost effective representation to teachers and other school employees who are being investigated or appealing a Cabinet decision. If you need these services, please contact our office at 502-614-5962 for a free consultation.