Fayette superintendent apologizes after leaving word out of email


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – What a difference a word can make.  Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk sent out an apology letter Tuesday after he says he inadvertently left a word out in an email response to a member of a Facebook group that advocates for students to return to class for in-person instruction.

The absence of the word ‘not’ indicated Caulk was planning on keeping students learning online for the entire academic year.  He says that is not his intent at all, that the goal since the pandemic hit is to get students back into the classroom when it’s safe to do so.

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Superintendent Caulk’s letter is below along with an image of his original response on social media that led to the apology letter.

Dear FCPS Families:

You may have seen a social media post that includes a picture of an email response I sent on September 28 to a member of our community. When I saw the post, I immediately realized that I had inadvertently left out the word not. I meant to say that it is “not” our intent, nor has it ever been our intent, to do remote learning for the entire year.

In fact, school and district leaders are planning for a possible return to in-person instruction with a hybrid model, phasing in at the elementary level, beginning the week of November 2, 2020. While the health and safety of our staff and the students and families we serve will guide every decision, I have said repeatedly that I believe students learn best in the classroom with their teachers and peers.

I have reached out to the person who originally emailed me apologizing for my mistake and reaffirming my commitment to reopening schools when we safely can. Please help me spread the word to our community that we are working diligently to plan for every contingency, knowing that, in the words of Dr. Fauci, “we don’t determine the timeline; the virus determines the timeline.”

Uncertainty, new guidance from the state, new information from local health officials, rising incidence rates, and community discord have created a rapidly changing landscape. I am committed to ensuring that our employees and families have input into the way we move forward. Working together, we will do what’s best for students.

Your Partner,

Manny Caulk

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.