The Spencer County Board of Education voted to withdraw the June 2, statement of charges for the removal of superintendent Chuck Adams at a special called meeting on Monday, July 4.

The withdrawal of the previous statement was needed so that the BOE could adopt an amended statement of charges in support of the removal of Adams, and submit the amended statement of charges to the Commissioner of Education for consideration.

The amended charges for removal of Adams from office, for submission to the Commissioner of Education for approval, pursuant to KRS 160.350(3) are as follows:

“Superintendent Adams violated the professional code of ethics for Kentucky school certified personnel, as adopted by the Education Professional Standards Board in 16 KAR 1:020, by failing to strive toward excellence, failing to nurture democratic citizenship, failing to recognize the importance of the pursuit of truth, failing to safeguard the freedom to teach, using institutional privileges for private gain, failing to exemplify behaviors which maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession, failing to accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities, and by using coercive means or giving special treatment in order to influence professional decisions.

“Specifically, the conduct of Superintendent Adams, as described by Hannah Jaggers in the Complaint filed in her lawsuit against the Board of Education (incorporated herein by reference), appears to be substantiated or corroborated by witness interviews and other evidence. While the Board does not find the conduct or comments to have been sexual in nature or to have created a sexually hostile work environment, the unwanted behavior directed at Ms. Jaggers failed to safeguard Ms. Jaggers’ freedom to teach. Mr. Adams’ frequent visits to Ms. Jaggers’ classroom and his use of her personal cell phone number to text her about matters unrelated to her employment duties reflected a utilization of institutional privilege for his personal benefit. Mr. Adams has expressly denied sending text messages to Ms. Jaggers which have been corroborated by screen shots from Ms. Jaggers’ cell phone, and this denial demonstrates a failure to recognize the importance of the pursuit of truth. Similarly, Mr. Adams justified the apparently excessive attention he gave to Ms. Jaggers by claiming that he shows extra attention to employees who are Spencer County natives or graduates from Spencer County High School. However, other employees have expressed that this is inconsistent with their experience or observation. This also demonstrates a failure to recognize the importance of the pursuit of truth. Mr. Adams has expressly indicated an intent to retaliate against one or more individuals who were involved in initially bringing Ms. Jaggers’ allegations to light, thereby using coercive means in order to influence professional decisions and/ or demonstrating a failure to accord just and equitable treatment of these individuals in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities.

“Collectively, these behaviors show a failure to strive toward excellence and a failure to exemplify behaviors which maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession.

“In addition, Mr. Adams displayed hostility and condescension toward Whitney Beyer following the February 2021 meeting of the Board of Education. Ms. Beyer was unhappy upon learning of the Board’s decision regarding plans for prom in relation to COVID and in-person schooling.

“When Mr. Adams noticed Ms. Beyer speaking with another teacher, Kim Cook, in the hallway after the meeting, he approached them and asked what Ms. Beyer was ‘barking about.’ When he learned of their dissatisfaction with the contingency placed on prom, Mr. Adams responded to Ms. Beyer in a demeaning and disrespectful manner until she was brought to tears of anger. Ms. Beyer attempted to leave, but Mr. Adams stepped toward a door to prevent her from leaving and slammed the door open so hard that it struck the wall and bounced back against the wall. Mr. Adams visited Ms. Cook in her classroom the following day and commented to her about talking Ms. Beyer ‘off the ledge.’ Mr. Adams also visited Ms. Beyer in her classroom the following day, and during the ensuing conversation, Ms. Beyer reported to Mr. Adams that his actions had upset her. Mr. Adams’ response included a statement to the effect that “women’s tears have no effect” on him. This incident showed a failure to strive toward excellence, a failure to nurture democratic citizenship, a failure to exemplify behaviors which maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession, and a failure to accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities.

“Further, Ms. Beyer reports that Mr. Adams regularly treats female teachers differently than male teachers, by typically calling female teachers by their first names (e.g., “Miss Whitney”), while typically calling male teachers by their last names (e.g., “Mr. Smith”). When Ms. Beyer spoke with Mr. Adams about this practice, his response was that it was easier for him to call females by their first names because they all get married and change their names. This practice demonstrates a failure to exemplify behaviors which maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession and a failure to accord just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession in the exercise of their professional rights and responsibilities.

“Additionally, collectively and individually, these behaviors distract from the educational mission of the Spencer County Public Schools, interfere with the orderly and effective administration of the educational program of the District, and constitute a disruption of the educational process.”

The Commissioner of education’s response was due Saturday, June 2; therefore, the school board was required to provide all new charges to the commissioner before the report/decision is made or else the 30-day clock would have had to be reset, thus the urgency to meet via special meeting.

The commissioner will now have an additional 30 days to make his decision on the case.