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1997 | School evaluation claims Donna Cockrel failed to meet performance requirements

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

A little more than a month after the Simpsonville Elementary School PTA submitted a position statement requesting the dismissal of Donna Cockrel, a “summative evaluation” of Cockrel's performance was issued by the school principal stating that Cockrel did not meet the requisite level of performance in five of the forty-three categories of evaluation.

Deficient performance was noted in the following areas: communication with parents regarding student performance and teacher expectations; documentation of lesson plans; showing “consistent sensitivity to individual academic, physical, social, and cultural differences and respond[ing] to all students in a caring manner”; ability to build positive relationships within the school and between the school and community; and acting in accordance with laws and with school regulations and procedures.

The performance evaluation given on March 26, 1997 attached several letters from parents complaining about Cockrel's discussion of hemp in class, as well as documentation of other alleged misconduct. Based on this evaluation, the school principal recommended to the Shelby County School Superintendent that Cockrel be terminated.

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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