Suspended principals to return on Monday; JCPS apologizes

Lauren Roberts
Lauren Roberts
Tiffany Scherrod
Tiffany Scherrod

Louisville, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two Jefferson County Public Schools principals who were suspended after major troubles with getting students home on the opening day of classes will be back to work on Monday.

Julia Lewis, the principal of King Elementary, and Sonya Unseld, principal of Lincoln Elementary, were on paid suspension for three days.

JCPS officials completed its administrative review of the transportation problems from the first day of school and, as a result, disciplined both principals. Aside from the three day suspension, Lauren Roberts, a JCPS spokesperson, said Unseld and Lewis each received a written reprimand, which stays in their file.

"It is a very serious reprimand and disciplinary consequence for a principal in Jefferson County Schools," Roberts said.

On August 17, Roberts said about 400 elementary students did not have their bus identification tags. That number included students from Chancey Elementary School, but its principal will not face disciplinary action because Roberts indicated that principal corrected the problems in time to have kids home by 6:30 p.m.

As for the 200 kids from Lincoln and King, they were still on buses at 6:30 p.m. Some of those students did not make it home until 9 p.m.

"This upsets us," said Roberts. "It angers us because up to a certain point on that particular day, the first day of school, it was a smooth opening."

Roberts said the bottom line was that administrators at both schools were not ready. According to Roberts, students' identification tags were supposed to have their correct information, including name and bus number. The school system said that process was halfway done and both schools had plenty of time to get it right.

"The bottom line, there was insufficient action taken prior to the start of school to prepare for these transportation issues," Roberts said.

Roberts said Unseld and Lewis had plenty of time to review the guidelines for the new transportation plan and have identification tags ready to go. Roberts said it is something 87 other elementary schools were able to do.

Tiffany Scherrod's two children attend Lincoln Elementary and she says her kids did not get to their daycare until 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

"By the time they got to the daycare, the daycare was closed already," said Scherrod. "My husband was sitting in the parking lot."

When asked about her thoughts on the two principals returning to work on Monday, Scherrod said, "As long as the school becomes organized it doesn't bother me. I just know that school needs a lot of organization."

Roberts believes there will not be any further problems.

"We hope families continue to have faith in us and we want to let them know we're going to do better."

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