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1996 | School investigation accuses Donna Cockrel of inappropriate behavior

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

On September 3, 1996, the investigation by the Shelby County School District informed Donna Cockrel that her conduct during the Harrelson visit, and other instances, had been inappropriate. Based on the findings of the investigation, the district Superintendent gave Cockrel a private reprimand both for her conduct during the Harrelson visit and for other inappropriate actions that were discovered.

The criticisms specifically pertained to Harrelson's visit, which were also listed as reasons for her eventual discharge, including:  allowing hemp seeds to be passed around to her students;  allegedly lying to the administration about when she first learned Harrelson would be coming to visit;  failing to have all the visitors associated with the hemp presentation register at the school office;  and allowing a student to be photographed by the media without parental permission.

Click the links below to learn more about the Harrelson and Cockrel trials:

1996 | Woody Harrelson speaks at Simpsonville Elementary

1996 | Woody Harrelson arrested for planting hemp in Kentucky

1996 | Donna Cockrel investigated after Woody Harrelson hemp presentation

1996 | Kentucky Hemp Museum & Library launches mobile exhibit

1996 | Woody Harrelson launches hemp essay contest

1996 | School trys to revoke Donna Cockrel's teaching certificate

1996 | Woody Harrelson defends Donna Cockrel

1996 | Woody Harrelson announces hemp essay winners

1996 | Charges dismissed against Woody Harrelson for Kentucky hemp planting

1997 | Kentucky Hemp Museum takes Harrelson, Cockrel and essay winner to movie premiere

1997 | Parents protest against Woody Harrelson's scheduled second visit

1997 | Court finds statute "overbroad" after Harrelson charges are dismissed

1997 | Woody Harrelson makes second visit to Simpsonville Elementary

1997 | Parents want Donna Cockrel fired after second Woody Harrelson hemp presentation

1997 | School Evaluation Claims Donna Cockrel Fails to Meet Performance Requirements

1997 | Kentucky General Assembly Hears Testimony On Hemp

1997 | Donna Cockrel is fired from Simpsonville Elementary

1997 | Woody Harrelson issues statement regarding Donna Cockrel's termination

1998 | Cockrel files suit against Shelby County schools

1998 | Farmers sue to overturn ban on hemp

2000 | Kentucky Supreme Court rules no distinction between hemp and marijuana

2000 | Woody Harrelson acquitted of hemp charges

2001 | Court reverses decision in Donna Cockrel vs. Shelby County schools

2003 | Donna Cockrel receives $70,000 settlement



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