McCracken County High School students continue to show support for suspended principal

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY – Students at McCracken County High School wrote messages on their cars and honked Tuesday to demonstrate support for suspended principal Michael Ceglinski.

He’s accused of failing to report incidents of sexual misconduct.

Merryman House Executive Director Mary Foley said that environment, while meaning well, could potentially be harmful to victims. Foley specializes in trauma therapy.

“I think it speaks volumes that they have such admiration for this figure, this principal,” Foley said. “The primary issue is, can you imagine how powerful it would be if that energy was spent sending a message to victims? ‘We support you. We may not agree with all the different responses or we may not understand, and we wish it were different in terms of our leadership?'”

She said another core issue is that allegations have been made by people who have relationships with these students. 

“Everything the students have learned and taught is called into question. Then there is that question of: Did leadership officials do what they needed to do?” Foley said.

When students build a relationship with someone of authority, Foley said that’s the second level of betrayal. Communication is key, and children need to know they can have someone to talk to.

“You want to mitigate the effects of the trauma. We believe the victims. We have access to proper mental health and crisis intervention,” Foley said.

Foley said the school has to reconsider some values.

“How do we hold people accountable when they need to be held accountable?” Foley said. “How do we speak up when we’d rather be quiet? How do we know when our gut is telling us one thing and an individual the other? When there is that disconnect, what do we do? These are principles that need to be reiterated.”

Local 6 called McCracken County Public Schools spokeswoman Jayme Jones to see if anyone was available to talk about how they are taking action about that. She did not get back to us.

To read more about the investigations going on at McCracken County High School, click here.