JCPS documents reveal investigations leading to Kumar Rashad being removed from classroom

Documents from JCPS show notices leading to the reassignment of Kentucky High School Teacher of the Year recipient Kumar Rashad.
Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 11:33 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Department of Education’s High School Teacher of the Year is no longer teaching in the classroom and recent records WAVE News requested from JCPS show where he is now.

Records show that Kumar Rashad, who once worked as a Math Teacher at Breckinridge Metro High School, now reports to the Special Needs East Bus Compound for a temporary interim assignment.

Rashad also serves on the Metro Council representing District Three.

On September 13th, 2023, Kumar Rashad was recognized as the Kentucky Department of Education’s High School Teacher of the Year, but before he was praised for his achievements Rashad was under review after a Nov. 15, 2018 email he sent to former Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis.

A performance evaluation from JCPS showed Rashad accused Lewis of “systematic racism perpetrated by a man of color” and ended the email with “Sorry for bothering you with this ‘Massa’,” all from his JCPS email address.

When asked to explain why, Rashad said he responded to the commissioner’s emails frequently and said that Lewis was “setting his race back” and Lewis was “no different than a man in a white cloak.”

The evaluation said this behavior was in violation of the District’s Employee Acceptable Use Agreement, which Rashad said he signed.

On April 8th, 2019, the Education Professional Standards Board sent Rashad a notice saying they were reviewing a report they received about him and requested for him to complete professional training by Oct. 8 of that year.

On June 17, 2019, the board voted to refer his case to a hearing.

Fast-forward four years later, Rashad received a reassignment notice coming from JCPS’ Human Resource Department taking him out of the classroom and sending him to the Special Needs East Bus Compound where he is to have no contact with anyone at Breck Metro High School.

Prior to that, on Aug. 17, 2022, Rashad received a notice from the Kentucky Department of Education saying that the Education Professional Standards Board reviewed a report of educator misconduct against him and that the board voted for the case to be assigned to one of the Board’s attorney to review and evaluate. The notice does not say what it is for.

That August notice came after a February 2022 message to Superintendent Marty Pollio saying they received a report about Rashad.

None of the three documents specify, however, the nature of the investigations.