by Michael Monks
THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
Covington School Board Chairman Mike Fitzgerald is stepping down as chairman but will remain a member of the school board. Board member Glenda Huff will take over as Chair at the next meeting in two weeks. "I have some family reasons that are pressing for me," Fitzgerald said Thursday, explaining that fewer responsibilities will allow him to tend those family matters. "Quite recently I have been upset about comments made about the board but let me assure you that the top priority of the board members is the education of the students."
Fitzgerald has been a member of the Covington School Board for sixteen years. "This is one of the best boards I've been able to work with," he said.
DISTRICT OFFERS MORE DETAILS ON FIGHT INSIDE HOLMES HIGH SCHOOL
At Thursday's school board meeting, Ken Kippenbrock, director of pupil personnel at the district, cleared up some of the rumors that followed a fight inside the Holmes High School cafeteria that led to the arrests of five 18-year old students. Six juveniles were also cited and released to their parents. Disciplinary hearings for the students involved are pending further investigation. Kippenbrock addressed other issues raised by the community following the incident:
- No Covington Police officers drew their weapons but one officer was in possession of a visible pepper ball gun which was not used
- One student was partially tased by an officer when he did not cooperate
- No students were in possession of any weapons
- There were no serious injuries
- The school was placed on lockdown for five to seven minutes as a precaution. Kippenbrock said parents were not notified of the lockdown or the situation in the cafeteria so as not to create a panic in the community and not to attract a flood of parents to the campus. "Our goal is not to cause alarm for parents every time the school is placed on lockdown," Kippenbrock said. Also, he contacted several surrounding school districts and confirmed that none of them contacts parents when the schools are placed on lockdown.
- A letter to parents detailing the incident and clearing up rumors was mailed out Thursday. Kippenbrock said that the district wanted to conclude its investigation before issuing a response to families.