Trimble Co. teacher able to teach while under investigation

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by Renee Murphy

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 25 at 9:12 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It all started at Trimble County High School in the early 2000’s, an alleged relationship between former track coach Jeff Vincent and a student.

“It’s plain as an arrow in the statues that teachers can’t have sex with the kids…can’t do it,” attorney Chris Miller of Lexington said.

Miller represents the former student. He said Vincent and his client were involved in a relationship that started when she was under the age of 16. Miller said she was spending most of her time at Vincent’s home.

“When he would have other people come over to his house he would hide her in this cubby hole in the back closet and she’d be back there for hours while people were there,” Miller said.

Vincent resigned from Trimble County Schools in 2011 when the superintendent Marcia Dunaway launched an investigation. According to the Education Professional Standards Board, Vincent still has his teaching license.

It doesn't expire until 2018.

Those from the standards board said Vincent's case is still under investigation, three years after the allegations surfaced.

“As far as I know he is eligible to be a teacher in the public schools. So she is very concerned about that,” Miller said.

In 2012 Vincent's attorney confirmed the relationship.

“The relationship did become an intimate relationship at the age of 16 and continued for a while then they broke up,” attorney Thomas Clay said.

Sixteen was the age of consent in Kentucky when the relationship happened. The laws have since changed in the state.

Miller said his client lied about being 16 and was younger.

“She felt a sense of responsibility to come forward eventually and to try and protect others,” Miller said.

According to Eastern Kentucky University's website, Vincent works as the assistant director for their migrant education program.

The website states the program's mission is to provide educational opportunities for migrant children and their families.

The Educational Professional Standards Board would not comment on this investigation but only said it's still ongoing.

The board has limited staffing and said the number of teacher misconduct cases has increased over the past few years.

They said "due process requirements and logistical issues which may impact case resolution."

“I think everybody should be concerned about this issue I can't think of a more important issue,” Miller said.

Miller said people should know if a teacher is under investigation by the state.

To check a teacher’s certification or to find out if they are under investigation by the state parents can contact the Education Professional Standards Board  at (502) 564-4606 or click here.
 

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