Dear Parent or Guardian:
As you may have recently read or seen in the news media, the American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Sumner, which the Sheriff’s Office assigned to serve as a school resource officer for the Covington Independent Public Schools (CIPS). This letter is being sent to reassure you that your children are safe in our schools.
The lawsuit arose from allegations that Deputy Sumner used handcuffs to restrain two students at two of our elementary schools during the fall of 2014 after these students exhibited behavioral problems.
Neither Covington Independent Public Schools nor employees of the school district were named as defendants in the lawsuit and we have cooperated with both the children’s legal counsel and the Sheriff’s Office in their separate investigations into this matter.
CIPS contracts with the Kenton County Sheriff’s Department to provide deputy sheriffs to serve as School Resource Officers (SROs) in our school buildings to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and a safe working environment for our employees.
As a result of these allegations, CIPS hired a private investigator to conduct its own independent investigation. After a thorough review of this matter, including numerous interviews with witnesses and other research, the investigator concluded that Deputy Sumner and Covington school personnel complied with school district’s restraint policies, which are designed to ensure that students do not injure themselves or others.
As is our practice when issues arise, CIPS is examining restraint practices to ensure a safe environment for all students, faculty and staff.
I hope this letter has helped provide you with a better understanding of this situation. Nothing is more important than the safety of our students. As we move forward, please rest assured that the welfare and education of your children will remain our primary mission, focus, and concern.
Alvin Garrison, Superintendent
Covington Independent Public Schools