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Putnam School Board Members Want To Know Why Coach Misconduct Was Not Reported

9:06 PM, May 10, 2012   |    comments
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PALATKA, Fla. -- A former Putnam County School District employee was arrested in 2010 on DUI charges. Now, that incident is raising questions in 2012.

Putnam County School Board members say they just learned that the district did not report the incident to the state's Office of Professional Practices.

Board member Nikki Cummings wants to know why the misconduct was never reported to the state until now.

"I feel it is important as a department and district we don't have to speculate," she said, "and we don't try to be a judge of the law and what needs to go to the state. That's the state's job."

The ex-employee is Kyle Rice, who was the Palatka high school football coach when the incident happened.

Cummings said state law requires the misconduct of a certified educator be reported with in 30 days to Department of Education's Office of Professional Practices.

"I want to be sure we do what is right make sure it goes to the state, no matter what," said Cummings.

Why it was never reported is a question First Coast News wanted to ask School Superintendent Tom Townsend. First Coast News was told he is unavailable.

Was the district's failure to report the misconduct to the state an oversight, or was it deliberate? 

"Honesty and integrity are important and I want to be sure our district reflect those things," said Cummings.

School Board Attorney James Padgett said he notified the superintendent and his staff to the letter of the law.

Padgett said since then, they have sent a letter to Tallahassee and now the district is in compliance. Padgett said he doesn't know of any other infraction, but the question remains could there be more.

Kyle Rice said when the incident happened, he reported it to his principal who reported to the staff and superintendent.

Why it wasn't reported to the state he does not know. Rice said he thinks it was an honest mistake.

First Coast News

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