JCPS school board votes to look into bringing metal detectors into schools

JCPS school board votes to look into bringing metal detectors into schools
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 11:36 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - So far this year, 19 guns have been found at Jefferson County Public Schools.

On Thursday, the JCPS school board voted six to one on a motion to look into the possibility of getting metal detectors for schools.

“I would like to make a motion that Dr. Pollio bring the board a proposal to install metal detectors at the April 25th meeting,” JCPS board member Corrie Shull said.

The crowd was fist pumping after hearing that all but one JCPS school board member supported the motion.

People like Brad Watson, who is happy the board passed the motion but says it’s not over yet.

“We’re on the clock and times not on our side,” Watson said. “We have to push this thing through. Get whatever information you need, but we can’t use this time just to play politics and shuffle this and shuffle that. It needs to get done.”

Jennifer Schumacher had a full speech prepared for the board.

“I am so thankful that I don’t to,” Schumacher said. “They’ve listened. The students are emailing them and talking to them and letting them know what their concerns are.”

The lone standout was Dr. Chris Kolb. During the discussion, Kolb made an interesting comparison that drew some ire from the crowd.

“I see a sign there that says ‘action before life is gone,’ Kolb said. “I assume that means you’re for mask mandates in schools because kids are 40 times more likely to die from COVID than they are a school shooting.”

It even got some attention from Metro council member Anthony Piagentini.

Piagentini responded in a tweet saying, “That is factually a joke. More kids die from guns in just Jefferson County per year than from COVID across the state since the beginning of the pandemic.”

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The signs Kolb referenced were being held up by parents who are tired of the guns being brought into JCPS schools.

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Parents held up signs at the JCPS school board meeting Thursday night.
Parents held up signs at the JCPS school board meeting Thursday night.(WAVE)

“We will need 8 to 10 trained personnel at every school in order to implement this for multiple hours a day,” said JCPS superintendent, Dr. Marty Pollio.

Pollio said metal detectors can fit in the budget, but it’s the human resource aspect that will make things difficult.

“The second thing we are going to have to strongly consider, this board voted to not have police officers in buildings in 2019,” he said.

Pollio said if a metal detector goes off, police officers will need to make the searches. Officers that Pollio says aren’t available right now.

“I don’t say this to say no we can’t do it,” Pollio said. “I just say that to flag the challenges that will be upon us as we do this.”

Board member Shull brought the motion to the board, but he says they also need a task force so that they don’t criminalize kids who bring guns to school.