CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky State Police are investigating death threats made against the Clay County Schools superintendent and board of education chair over moving graves from a cemetery on property owned by the school district, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The report says the death threats against Superintendent William Sexton and Board of Education Chairman Mark Hoskins came via email messages on July 15 and 16.
The report says the email messages mentioned guns and threats to kill people.
This comes after the school board announced it intended to move graves from the 128-year old Hoskins Cemetery.
The cemetery sits on the top of a steep hill that overlooks Manchester Elementary School and sports facilities.
The school board says the graves need to be moved because the location poses a safety threat since the cemetery overlooks a school and athletic facilities. Sharon Allen, an attorney for the board of education, called the location a potential “sniper’s nest,” according to the report.
There are an estimated 80 graves in the cemetery, which include veterans dating back to the Civil War, and descendants of Native Americans, according to the report.
Family members of some of the people buried in the cemetery have protested the plan to move the graves. There was a protest in Manchester on July 8, 2021 where people chanted, “Educate, don’t desecrate,” according to the report.
Manchester attorney Stella B. House told the newspaper cemetery supporters will sue to try to block the removal of the graves if necessary.
The Clay County Board of Education received the necessary permission from the Clay County Fiscal Court to seek state permits to move the graves, according to the report.
The school board has applied to the state for permits to move the graves, which would have to be overseen by a funeral director, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.