Should SROs stay or go? JCPS, public voice concerns - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Should SROs stay or go? JCPS, public voice concerns

Tuesday's school board meeting was at Jeffersontown High School, where the fight between students and police happened. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Tuesday's school board meeting was at Jeffersontown High School, where the fight between students and police happened. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jtown School Resource Officer Steve Mattingly (Source: WAVE 3 News) Jtown School Resource Officer Steve Mattingly (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time, Jeffersontown High School's resource officer spoke publicly at the JCPS school board meeting following a viral incident at the school a few weeks ago.

The event resulted in the arrest of two students and sparked a city-wide conversation over the need for school resource officers (SROs).

"The kids in this school don't see me as a threat," Steve Mattingly, the school resource officer said. "They see me as an ally."

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During Tuesday's board meeting, which was hosted by Jeffersontown High School, parents, teachers, and community members voiced their concerns.

"This role simply does not require regular police presence patrolling the school, nor does research support reliance on police to deter school shootings," Dr. Chris Kolb, a school board member said.

In a previous interview with WAVE 3 News, Dr. Kolb said he'd like to begin with removing SROs at Jeffersontown High School and eventually make it the norm at other JCPS schools.

Dr. Kolb is the only board member who wants to pull the contract.

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"We see violent crimes, the murder rates up, we've been ranked with the 11th highest murder rate in this nation in this city," Mattingly said. "These kids are living in those very neighborhoods where those crimes are happening. Those kids are in this very school every single day."

No action was taken on the SRO discussion at the JCPS board meeting Tuesday night.

The incident at Jeffersontown High School that resulted in the arrest of two students is still under investigation.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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