Nelson County students, staff continue protesting

The superintendent said there are more than 200 staffing vacancies across the school district.
Published: Oct. 19, 2023 at 10:40 AM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - No one is going to school on Thursday in Nelson County as Thomas Nelson High School students, staff members, and the school community continue their protesting in Bardstown.

The superintendent said there are more than 200 staffing vacancies across the school district, making it impossible to hold classes.

This all comes after students and staff members at Thomas Nelson High School walked out on Wednesday because of a new plan to potentially merge two high schools.

The school board voted 3-2 in favor of continuing their pursuit to build an $80 million connected campus.

It would merge Thomas Nelson High School with Nelson County High School and move lower grade levels into the same campus.

Longtime board member Damon Jackey resigned after the meeting, saying some of his fellow board members have been meeting behind closed doors, ignoring community input and lying to the community.

”If we can’t have those discussions publicly with families and community members there and engage them in it, ethically I can’t be a part of that,” Jackey said.

Several teachers protesting Thursday said they believe the superintendent’s hands have been tied by the board and that an entire school district essentially in one location isn’t the kind of atmosphere best for learning or teaching in Nelson County. They want to keep a presence at Thomas Nelson High School, which was built in 2012. It’d otherwise lose all students.

This idea from the school board is not final. Tuesday’s vote only approved the school district to create a full plan to merge the schools.