School says no to Reid's court-ordered talks with students

Friday, April 11, 2014

Incident too recent in minds of students, superintendent says

Clay Community Schools has declined a court-ordered provision of a Carbon woman's probation that required she do community service at the district's two high schools.

Kelsey Reid, 20, was sentenced in Clay Superior Court on Wednesday on two counts of involuntary manslaughter for an April 2013 incident where she was driving too fast and crashed, killing her two passengers.

Included in her sentence of 18 months on probation was that she complete 40 hours of community service, which included making presentations to Northview and Clay City high school students on the dangers and consequences of speeding.

But, in an email obtained by The Brazil Times, Clay Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers said the school district declined those planned talks.

In a letter dated Friday to Akers from Clay Community Schools, Superintendent Kimberly Tucker explained the district's decision.

"With regard to the plea agreement for Kelsey Reid, I have spoken with administration at the building level and do not believe that it is in the best interest of students to receive Ms. Reid as a speaker," Tucker writes. "The incident is too recent in the minds and hearts of many, and I am not confident that the speaker will make a compelling enough statement to articulate the appropriate message for students. We, therefore, respectfully decline the opportunity to have Ms. Reid speak to either high school student bodies within Clay Community Schools."

Akers wrote that although he was disappointed with the school corporation's decision, he respects it.

"The school corporation obviously has had to make a tough decision based upon information they have obtained," Akers told the Times. "Unfortunately, there was not sufficient time to work this out before the close of the school year. A victim impact statement is what was requested in the plea agreement approved by the families of the victims and there will be such a forum in proper time and place."

Reid was sentenced on both of the Class D felony charges to 18 months in prison; however, all of it was suspended except for one day plus credit time she spent in jail on May 22.

Included in the 18-months probation, were 90 days in-home detention, as well as revoked license and other requirements.

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  • Good decision.

    -- Posted by My Dime on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 8:30 PM
  • In this rural community we have lost many kids recently due to speed and fast cars. Yes they are accidents but they don't have to happen if we keep sweeping it under the rug and not educating our youth what kind of lesson are we as adults and role models. Shame on you Clay Community Schools, you have speakers on drugs and alcohol and even physical abuse from dating but this wouldn't be effective?

    -- Posted by westsidemom on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 9:01 PM
  • I think the schools made the right decision. A court ordered statement would not have much value or impact anyway.

    -- Posted by Zen on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 9:18 PM
  • I think now is the perfect time for her to speak, when it is fresh in everyone's minds is when it is most effective! I also do not feel that a simple letter of declination should be allowed to overturn a "court order".....since when was that acceptable?

    -- Posted by mother of two sons on Sat, Apr 12, 2014, at 7:16 AM
  • First of all, RebERger had nothing to do with this (public record shows that the Chief Deputy Prosecutor was on this case in which a plea agreement that was approved by the victims' families was signed) and why is it Judge Akers and the Prosecution's fault that the school did not approve this? I do not agree with the school's decision, but if you go look at the sentencing order, which is public record, I believe it actually says that she is ordered to do this within the first 90 days of her probation...unless probation and/or community corrections approve otherwise. It does not order the school to allow this to happen ASAP. It is unfortunate for the families of the victims that this was not approved because according to their statements during the sentencing, they really wanted this to happen this year when classmates of both victims would still be in school.

    -- Posted by Papaw's Kids on Sat, Apr 12, 2014, at 8:31 AM
  • you would think that the Judge would have gotten in touch with the schools to okay this plan before now what will the community service be?

    -- Posted by myrtle52 on Sat, Apr 12, 2014, at 9:19 AM
  • Great decision by school, the judge should've discussed this with them first and maybe something could've been worked out for the best of all.

    -- Posted by brzmm on Sat, Apr 12, 2014, at 11:59 AM
  • Brzmm,

    Wonder if you would feel that way if it was your son or daughter? The Moore family has suffered so much loss in the last two years or have no idea!

    -- Posted by IndyBklyn99 on Sun, Apr 13, 2014, at 7:23 PM
  • Tough call. I can see both sides. Maybe she speaks but allow students to opt out? Maybe there isn't a clear answer but a message of some sort needs to be driven home to the kids that they are not as invincible as they think.

    -- Posted by Bzlobserver on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 2:29 PM
  • "I am not confident that the speaker will make a compelling enough statement to articulate the appropriate message for students."

    Perhaps they were doing it for the safety of Ms. Reid, based on feedback from the student body?

    Even the best intentions can have deadly results. I believe the school made the absolute RIGHT decision in not allowing Ms. Reid's "message". And yes, I would believe this even if my son/daughter were the victims.

    A handful of kids will get the message, but most aren't willing to listen. Remember when you were their age and felt invincible?

    I pray that more and more of our children will pay more attention to what they're doing behind the wheel .. especially if they have passengers in the car.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Apr 18, 2014, at 12:24 PM
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