Parents fed up with guns being taken into JCPS schools
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Parents are outraged and tired of feeling helpless as guns are found at JCPS schools. Now they’re trying to make a change before tragedy strikes.
JCPS is 24 weeks into the school year, and 18 guns have been found on JCPS campuses. That averages out to almost one a week.
Parents are fed up with worrying and wondering about the worst case scenario.
“We know how to protect buildings,” Brad Watson, whose daughter goes to Eastern High School, said. “We do this in society all the time. I can’t get in a football game, or a concert, a courthouse, I can’t get in anything. It seems like the only place we can’t figure it out is a public school.”
A gun was found at Eastern last week, while another was found at Moore High School on Wednesday.
The gun at Eastern flew out of a student’s backpack during a fight at lunch. Students started running in all directions, just trying to get away.
Watson’s daughter was one of those students.
“How’s she supposed to handle this emotionally, much less those people 10 feet away from the incident?” Watson said.
No one was hurt as teachers and security were able to tackle and escort one of the kids involved away.
However that’s not enough for Watson, he wants to make sure there’s no chance for something like this to happen.
“When it happens in your child’s school, and your daughter goes running for her life, it affects you personally,” Watson said. “When you’re a dad, you can’t sit by and just do nothing.”
Watson reached out to Dr. Heather Orman, the principal of Eastern, to see what he can do to help.
He said Orman told him he can find parents who can volunteer as mentors and tutors.
“People have concerns, ‘what is this guy trying to do?’ And all I’m trying to do is just help,” Watson said. “And this is the one thing I could do.”
The gun at found at Moore High School was the last straw for Jennifer Schumacher.
“These kids go through this everyday,” Schumacher said. “They’re becoming numb to it. There’s no importance.”
Schumacher says she’s tired of what she feels are empty statements after the fact.
“One of the blurbs that is always in these statements is ‘the safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority,’” Schumacher said. “To me, that’s just blah, blah, blah.”
One of Schumacher’s solutions to help stop the problem is metal detectors. It’s an idea that at least one JCPS board member shares.
Last week after the gun was found at Eastern, Sarah McIntosh tweeted: “We absolutely need metal detectors and additional security measures.”
“I’ve reached out to our courthouses, I’ve reached out to the Yum Center, I’ve reached out to TSA to see if when they are done with their metal detectors and it’s time to bring new ones in, what do they do with them?” Schumacher said.
She said if they can be repurposed, it can be a cost effective way to get them in schools.
Schumacher and Watson both agree, it’s time to do something.
“We’ve got to do better. We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be the voice for them,” Schumacher said.
“JCPS for all their good intentions, they should not be making a parent decide whether their kid should learn math or whether they should get shot,” Watson said.
Watson is planning to speak at the next JCPS school board meeting.
Principal Orman sent out a letter to parents on Tuesday saying they’re open to approved volunteers to mentor and tutor Eastern students, but volunteers can’t supervise in a security capacity.
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