One of two guns brought to JCPS schools found on fifth-grade student

The guns were the second and third in two days found on a JCPS campus.
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 12:18 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 1:59 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Adding to a growing list, two more guns were brought by students into JCPS schools Tuesday. This comes as another gun was found on a student the day before at Western High School.

Tuesday morning, Louisville Metro police were called to Atherton High School, located at 3000 Dundee Road. At first the principal sent out a note to parents, stating that no gun had been found. But after about 10 minutes of that note being sent out, sources confirmed to WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters that a gun had in fact been located at the school.

Not long after investigating the Atherton incident, WAVE 3 News learned of another gun at McFerran Prep Academy.

The growing list of guns at schools has now reached 14 in just three months since school began. That statistic does not include the number of lockdowns at JCPS schools where guns have been suspected but not found.

The JCPS school board removed School Resource Officers in 2019 with three votes, spearheaded by the then-Vice Chair Chris Kolb. Kolb stepped down as Vice Chair earlier this year after publicly tweeting profanity and insult to a senate members during a social media debate.

Kolb did not respond to a November 18 email asking for comment and his ideas to keep students safe. WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters reached out to Kolb after obtaining a video showing two students at Iroquois High School pushing each other before one of them pulls out a gun and points it at the other student.

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio also did not comment about the gun incident that night.

“To me, it is borderline criminal that the people in charge of these schools, the JCPS Board, are not doing their due diligence in keeping kids safe while at school,” Kentucky State Representative Kevin Bratcher told WAVE 3 News.

Currently, JCPS administrators are tasked with calling LMPD to respond, or the district’s own JCPS Security members. Those security members roam from school to school, are certified officers but are prohibited by JCPS to be armed.

Pollio has spoken about guns in schools as a community-wide problem. He is not willing to say on record if he believes armed SRO’s should be brought back to schools.

What Pollio has stated is what the community and the board need to discuss is what is the best solution to keep students safe. Bratcher says there is no more time to talk.

Bratcher is supportive of a Senate Bill 8, requiring an armed School Resource Officer at every school campus in the Commonwealth. As of the beginning of the school year, only seven counties in the state had not yet hired a single SRO. JCPS is one of the seven. The district has claimed the funds are not available to hire SRO’s. However, Bratcher says that is simply an excuse.

“We have passed two laws in Frankfort to demand that schools make student safety a top priority for all schools in Kentucky,” Bratcher said. “JCPS continues to ignore this law and I just hope someone does not get seriously hurt before we get another chance to make it so airtight that they cannot wiggle any further.”

Opponents to SROs say having police in schools traumatizes children who have adverse feelings towards police. They also worry that children would be arrested, and face criminal charges instead of being treated through alternative methods.

Possessing a gun on school property is a felony in Kentucky. A number of the students who have brought loaded and stolen weapons to school have been cited by JCPS Security and released back to their parents, sources have confirmed.

At least six of the 14 guns at schools have been loaded, a number of sources have confirmed. That includes a gun brought by a 12-year-old child at Stuart Middle School on October 7, which had 28 bullets in a 30 round magazine.

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