Sheriff: Disappointed with Sun's handling of letter
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY- Sheriff Jon Hayden said Tuesday evening, shortly before 6, he was close to wrapping up an investigation into a letter that prompted 2 schools to call off classes for the day.
The letter arrived to the editorial department of the Paducah Sun Monday morning and the Sheriff's Department was contacted shortly thereafter.
The Sun shared the contents of the letter- expressing concern over a student who was said to have brought guns to Reidland High School- with the Sheriff but refused to reveal the author.
After a back and forth, a meeting was arranged with the Sheriff and the author of that letter, a 17-year-old Reidland High School student.
The Sheriff, and a detective arrived at The Paducah Sun around 10:30 Tuesday morning to meet with the author of that letter, and a Paducah Sun editor. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes and the Paducah Sun says they were not the ones to hesitate. Publisher Jim Paxton says it was the student's parents who were not eager for the meeting.
Sheriff Jon Hayden and his detectives interviewed several others, including other students. Hayden believes when the Paducah Sun shared the contents of the letter they should have shared the author's name.
"We certainly understand the media has a job to do. We know that, we respect that. When the media receives information on something of this magnitude we just feel that there's a moral obligation to consider over any ethical obligations."
Paxton tells Local 6 did not perceive the letter to be a threat, only a complaint about security concerns. If the letter, he said, would have been of a different nature, he may have acted differently.
Hayden also added, "We're not in the business of making people look good or making people look bad. We're in the business of keeping people safe and that's what we're going to do. That's our main priority."
To see Hayden's entire interview with Local 6, click the above video.
Below is the letter in its entirety.
As a student at Reidland High School, I see fights dealt with promptly, tobacco abuse punished according to school regulations, and even profanity is dealt with promptly. But we have a student, someone who sits in class with us, who has brought weapons twice and most recently plotted a map of bomb and gun attack sites around the school area. This student has yet to be punished for anything. Is it that Doctor Waldrop, the superintendent, is afraid to enforce school rules? Is he being protected because of some minority status? Although he's not a minority, is he special ed? Regardless the rest of us sit in class with him knowing he's dangerous. What would you do Mr. Editor?"