Person behind racial slur identified; Woodford Co. officials react quickly

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 18:58:23-05

VERSAILLES, Ky. (LEX 18) — Just seeing the word can make anyone cringe, yet there it was, scribbled through the moisture onto a car window in the Woodford County High School parking lot.

"It was a student, so we've taken appropriate action as it relates to that," said District Superintendent Scott Hawkins.

The victim was the school’s head girls’ basketball coach, Erik Daniels. It happened on Friday night, while Daniels was coaching his team during a home game.

He later took to Facebook to share the incident, saying he prefers to “embrace the hate,” while using it as a teachable moment. Police, however, think it could warrant something much larger.

“Given the racial component to it, there could be some sentencing enhancements under the hate crimes statutes,” said Assistant Chief Rob Young of the Versailles Police Department.

School officials won’t release the identity of the student, and police were reluctant to offer the surveillance video used to identify the responsible party, both prefer to focus on the positives.

“Coach Daniels is a good man in this community. He’s well respected, and I think the community will rally around him in this situation,” Young said.

Hawkins said he’s proud of having someone of Daniels’ integrity working as a teacher and coach in his district, and hopes everyone can learn from the experience.

“We want to use this unacceptable situation,” he said “to reinforce something positive to hopefully grow stronger as a result.”

Educators, never miss a chance to do just that. And in times like this, that’s often when it’s most needed.