NewsCovering Kentucky


Parents Protest Relocation Of LCHS Teacher Following Abuse Allegation

Posted at 5:56 AM, Jan 16, 2019

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18)– Last week, we told you about a Lincoln County special ed teacher and two instructional assistants who have been accused of abusing a student with autism.

The county fired the two assistants, but relocated the teacher to the student support center.

Some parents are upset that the teacher still has a job.

Concerned parents like Krystal Freeman, whose son is non-verbal and has autism, say they are using their voices for the voiceless.

“This is our worst fear,” Freeman said. “When your kid cannot come home from school and tell you things, it’s a whole different ball game.”

According to court documents, two instructional assistants –Teresa Sparkman and Janie Hasty– were fired after Hasty punched and taunted a non-verbal student with autism.

The documents go on to say Sparkman and Hasty had the student on the ground in a corner. Hasty reportedly twisted his arm, pulled him up off the floor, and shoved him, while at one point Sparkman laughed.

According to police, this happened in a classroom with the teacher, Rebecca Spurlock, doing nothing to stop it.

“She shouldn’t be employed by the Lincoln County School system at all,” Freeman said. “Ever again. Especially not still. She failed, she failed her student.”

But Spurlock remains on the job, relocated to the school system’s support center. Charity Phillips’ son is also non-verbal and autistic.

“We send our kids to school for an education, not to be bullied and picked on, they have enough of that going on in the school system themselves, without having the teachers having to do it too,” Phillips said.

Freeman and Phillips say they’re friends with the victim’s mother, another reason they are protesting.

“I wouldn’t handle it as well as she is,” Phillips said. “But she is a very strong woman and she has a good backbone and a good support system. We’re all there for her.”

The county attorney says what happened was caught on video, but attorneys for the school system sent LEX 18 an email denying our request to see that video.