Kings community looking for answers following investigation - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Kings Mills community looking for answers following investigation

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Unidentified Kings Local School District meeting attendee Unidentified Kings Local School District meeting attendee
KINGS MILLS, OH (FOX19) -

It was a subdued meeting tonight between Kings Local School District leaders and members of the community until near the end when a woman, who declined to give her name to FOX19, asked a series of direct questions about the officials' handling of a separation agreement with a special needs teacher who was investigated for possible child abuse.

A sheriff's investigation in Warren County cleared Amanda Kitcho of any criminal wrongdoing. But some of the special needs students' families could still sue the district in civil court.

"I mean, we're wondering what's it costing the district?" the woman asked superintendent Valerie Browning tonight. "Was there an insurance plan to cover all those costs? And I think people understand why we had to pay her. But, you know, the line that said the board agreed they would give her a positive reference even after all the accusations?"

Dr. Browning told the woman it wouldn't be appropriate for her to speak for the board of education in this "venue." However, she did confirm for the woman that the school district faces a lawsuit over not releasing transcripts from depositions the district took in the course of its investigation into the teacher's behavior.

Then the district's treasurer, Mike Mowery, confirmed for the woman that the district does have a liability insurance policy. Mowery said he believes it would cover all of the district's costs if it were sued by a child's family. He said district officials have met with the "liability carrier" to go over the case.

Meanwhile, Dr. Browning says the district's attorney is working to negotiate a settlement over the public records request lawsuit. The woman who filed the suit, Kim Grant, was sitting in the audience tonight, spoke-up after Browning finished, and said she also wanted to negotiate a settlement.

Kitcho officially cut ties with the district last August after being on paid administrative leave since January of last year. At a board meeting last week, Dr. Browning said the district's own investigation found that Kitcho would sometimes plan lessons at her computer even as classes were ongoing and that she would eat some of the special needs students' lunches.

However, the district still provided Kitcho with a letter of recommendation, which the community member mentioned in one of her questions tonight.

Kitcho's attorney tells FOX19 that Kitcho did not engage in any wrongdoing. She now works part-time at a Catholic church where the pastor says she has no direct involvement with children.

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