Teachers ride along with Louisville Metro police

Teachers ride along with Louisville Metro police

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public School teachers and teacher's assistants jumped in the back of Louisville Metro Police Department cruisers to get a tour of some of the neighborhoods where their students live.

The idea behind the day was to get a better idea of some of the cultural difference and home-life struggles that their students experience before they set foot in the classroom.

Elementary school teacher Cindy Hardin does home visits for some of her students.

"Some of them haven't eaten," Hardin said. "They would be in a one bedroom apartment with five or six children."

But she's hoping by getting to talk with police about her student's neighborhoods, she will have a better idea of how she can help them in the classroom. 

School resources officers and police said they often see students in low-income neighborhoods with violent crime, a home life a teacher might not have any idea about.

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"They're coming from domestic situations broken homes, sometimes the parents don't have enough food to feed them," LMPD Sergeant Jeff Arton said. 

Homeless Coordinator for JCPS Giselle Danger said there are almost 7,000 homeless students within the district. 

"You have to understand where they're coming from, their background, what they may have experienced the night before," Danger said. 

With a day off school, teachers like Elaine Douglass, we're able to see what students were up to when they're not at school. 

"Some of them probably need to be in there working on their homework," Douglass said, "you've
got your mom and dad or whoever is at work, you've got to find something productive to do."

Traveling through Smoketown, Old Louisville and the downtown area, teachers said they experienced a new view out of the classroom. 

"Maybe we should just open up our eyes, and not be so judgmental but be there for anyone when they need it," teacher assistant Brittany Freels said. "Get out there and learn who they are, where they are coming from and what you can do to help."

The program will continue on Monday with a new group of teachers.

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