UPDATE: Group counters call for Caulk to step down

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk

UPDATE POSTED 2:20 P.M. SEPT. 30, 2020

Lexington, Ky. (WTVQ) – Another group is rallying support for Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Mammy Caulk to counter calls for him to step down because of disagreements over his handling of the district’s COVID-19 plans.

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In a release issued Wednesday afternoon, Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity said the effort is misguided.

“considering our community engagement, we want to express our support for Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. During his time as Superintendent, Mr. Caulk has proven to be a leader and role model for young men, women, students and faculty/staff in our community,” members Gerry Harris and Lee Jackson said in the statement.

“He has shown wisdom and courage to make decisions that are in the best interests of our students during these challenging, unprecedented times. Suggestions that Mr. Caulk should resign are unwarranted, unfair and could be extremely damaging as we try to navigate our way through both a pandemic and social unrest in our nation. Mr. Caulk has earned this opportunity, and his qualifications more than validate the fact that he deserves to be able to continue to lead,” the group continued.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some Fayette County parents have voiced concern about the school board and superintendent’s plan for returning to in-person learning.

Now, those concerns have culminated into a call for Superintendent Manny Caulk to resign, including a petition started Monday afternoon.

The petition says “under [Manny Caulk’s] leadership our FCPS system is failing dramatically.”

The school board has been meeting regularly and adding on additional meetings to discuss COVID-19 data.

Friday night’s meeting included a presentation from Lexington-Fayette County Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh.

Superintendent Caulk sent a letter to parents later Friday night detailing some key notes from Humbaugh.

One key note, Dr. Humbaugh attributed Fayette County’s high case count to the return of University of Kentucky students.

“He showed that the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases reported in Fayette County had plateaued at between 10 and 15 cases since mid-August after a steady incline from mid-June through August 4,” Caulk said in the letter.

For more from the letter click here.

Monday night, the school board is meeting again at 6 p.m. to discuss if/when classes would return in person.

But again, Friday night’s letter from Caulk, suggested school might stay online.

“Given Dr. Humbaugh’s statement that Fayette County will unlikely receive a yellow rating as long as UK is in session, strict adherence to the state guidance would mean our schools would remain virtual for at least the remainder of the 2020-21 school year,” Caulk said.

However, according to Governor Andy Beshear’s COVID-19 Incidence Rate Map Fayette County fell in the yellow Monday.

Screenshot of Kentucky’s COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

Kevin Hall with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says it’s likely a county like Fayette County could be on the cusp of red and orange causing possibly daily change in color designation.

As of this posting Monday at 5:45 p.m. there was no response for comment from FCPS on the call for Superintendent Caulk to resign.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com