MINFORD — As rumors continue to swirl about what may or may not have happened to an undetermined number of Minford Local School District students at a Tim Horton Leadership Camp in Kentucky, about a dozen parents gathered early Tuesday afternoon to protest along a school bus route.
Many carried signs with messages such as “Stop the Bullying,” “Protect Our Children.”
One demonstrator, Tammy Cade, stated she is worried about children in the schools.
“We’ve never had these types of issues before,” Cade said.
Cade, and at least one other protester who said she had grandchildren in the school, made specific allegations regarding supposed sexual abuse of students by other students at the Kentucky camp. Both said no adults were directly involved.
The Daily Times has been unable to confirm that those allegations have been made formally to police or to the district.
For her part, protester Barb Burchett charged that teachers at the camp did not provide proper supervision for the children in attendance. Cade claimed at least one child had been sent to the hospital for treatment.
Minford Local School Superintendent Jeremy Litteral said Monday law enforcement in both Ohio and Kentucky have or are looking into any allegations of misconduct at the camp. The Kentucky State Police did not respond to several requests for comment made by the Daily Times.
Scioto County Sheriff’s Office Capt. John W. Murphy said the bulk of the investigation is being handled by Kentucky authorities as the alleged incidents took place there. Murphy said at the request of Kentucky officials his office completed an initial incident report and interviewed alleged victims. Stating the case was ongoing, Murphy declined to release any further details.
Even as Kentucky police presumably continue their investigation, Litteral said district officials imposed discipline on an unreleased number of seventh graders for their part in whatever inappropriate and/or potentially criminal activity allegedly took place at the camp.
On Tuesday, the district released a letter to parents explaining that certain students had been disciplined for unspecified actions and inviting parents who feel they or their children need help in dealing with the situation to contact the district.
Litteral did not mention the name of the camp the Minford students attended. But judging from the Tim Horton’s website there is only one company camp in Kentucky, Camp Kentahten in Campbellsville, Ky.
Tim Horton’s corporate offices stated all media requests had to go through email. The company had not responded to an email sent by the Daily Times prior to press time.
Saying the discipline involved or affected the students’ academic records, Litteral said he was barred from releasing any information regarding what type of punishment was meted out. Citing ongoing police investigations, Litteral further declined to go into details on what allegedly took place at the camp. He added Minford schools have visited the camp for five years without previous incident.
Tuesday actually marked the second day of protests outside Minford Middle School. Late Monday, Litteral confirmed an undetermined number of parents or community members showed up for a demonstration on State Route 335 near a local grocery store early that morning. The superintendent stated he did not see the demonstration personally but was given reports from several district bus drivers. According to Litteral, the demonstration was organized over social media but did not involve students.