Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 19, 2013

Police searching for school vandals

GRAYSON — Students at East Carter High School spent an atypical morning in the gymnasium Wednesday as they waited on custodians, school staff and Carter board employees to clear away signs of vandalism from the hallways.

Ronnie Dotson, superintendent for the Carter County Board of Education, found himself helping his co-workers clean off fire extinguisher goo out of individual lockers, desks and walls.

The vandals, who have yet to be identified, moved student desks and chairs into the hallways and stairwells and sprayed one of the fire extinguishers and some silly string around the area.

Dotson said he was notified of the incident at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, when the custodians found the mess.

Because of the possibility that the extinguisher's chemicals could aggravate respiratory or asthma problems for some students, they were all kept inside the gym until all grime was cleared away at 10:30 a.m.

Catching the vandals will not be as simple as reviewing security footage on the school’s cameras because, as Dotson explained, the current equipment is old and ineffective.

“Last month we actually looked into updating our camera system. We’ve been quoted and have them ordered, but they haven't come in yet,” he said.

The investigation of the vandalism, being carried out by the Grayson Police Department, is in its beginning stages, but Dotson said after speaking with Police Chief Kevin McDavid Thursday morning, they are confident they will be able to soon identify the responsible person or group involved and employ the appropriate consequences.

“There is potential for a wide array of disciplinary measures that the school can take,” he said.

If the vandals are not students, there are still criminal charges for breaking and entering that may apply, along with defacing public property.

Carter County Board of Education District Personnel Donald Damron assured in a board meeting last May entering school property through unauthorized force will see consequences.

“Breaking and entering is a serious criminal offense that is covered by our discipline policy,” he said.

Assuming the vandals are part of the Carter County students (East Carter or otherwise), they are likely to face punishment tailored to the respective school’s individual policy, as the student handbooks are specific to each institution, not universally distributed through the board.

Dotson said after the incident last May where seniors released crickets in the days before graduation, the board called upon schools to develop their vandalism disciplinary policies.

In a board meeting later that month, Board Chair Bryan Greenhill called for a “black-and-white policy for vandalism” regarding student discipline in the schools.

Dotson does not believe the vandals were motivated by any type of negative opinions toward the high school, but were rather pulling a prank.

“When I go to East Carter High School, I see kids working, now moreso than ever,” he said. “Students are dedicated to learning as much as they can and preparing for college. To my knowledge I don’t know of anyone particularly disgruntled with the school.”

Carter County schools commenced for winter break Thursday afternoon and will resume Jan. 2.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at

lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2653.

Text Only
Local News
  • newwendy1.jpg Ashland woman develops pregnancy journals for mom, dad

    An Ashland woman has a way of helping parents everywhere.
    Wendy Sparks, 47, wrote The journals, which are for parents to keep for themselves and their children during pregnancy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420eggs0051.jpg Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.

    April 19, 2014

  • Sheriff candidates ready for election

    With no incumbent in the Boyd County Sheriff’s race, Republican and Democrat candidates for the post will square off in their respective primaries next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0148.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo