Crabbe Elementary

ASHLAND Some teachers have said Crabbe Elementary School principal Uriah Tolbert was in the school building Monday, during a time he was under quarantine for exposure to the COVID-19 virus, according to a Kentucky Education Association board member.

The teachers said Tolbert was there after school hours, but while teachers were in the building, KEA board member Melissa Salyers said.

Tolbert denied being in the building and Superintendent Sean Howard said he had reviewed video footage and Tolbert was not on it.

Four teachers contacted Salyers Monday and made the allegations, Salyers said Tuesday.

Salyers teaches in the Boyd County system but represents eastern Kentucky for the KEA.

Salyers would not identify the teachers. She said they feared retaliation if identified.

Salyers said she sent a private message via Facebook Messenger to school board member Patsy Lindsey. Lindsey said she sent a screen capture of the message to Howard.

The message became public when Howard posted the screen capture on Facebook with a response.

Sending the screen capture to Howard was her only involvement, Lindsey said. Any investigation would be up to Howard, she said. "It's not something I need to be involved in. It's not my business, it's his business," she said.

None of the teachers has contacted her, Lindsey said.

Tolbert said he has not been in the building since Oct. 7, the day he learned a Crabbe student had tested positive for the virus and that he had been identified as having had contact with the child.

"My character and my professionalism have been attacked by false accusations," Tolbert said. "Crabbe is not just my job. Crabbe is my family. I would not do anything to jeopardize my family."

He said he had not been away from his home since going into quarantine.

The school's security video footage didn't show Tolbert during the quarantine period, according to director of instructional technology Cary Williams. Video reviewed included the front entrance, hallways and the office area, "any camera he would have had to walk by to get to the office," Williams said.

Tolbert and six Crabbe students were quarantined Oct. 7 after a kindergarten student tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Contact tracing showed Tolbert and the students had been in close enough proximity to the infected child to warrant quarantine.

Recommended for you