Flash Dads surprise Shelby Traditional Academy

Updated: Jan. 24, 2018 at 3:20 PM EST
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The group aims to offer encouragement through high fives and signs. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The group aims to offer encouragement through high fives and signs. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One day after Tuesday's horrific deadly shooting in Marshall County, a Jefferson County Public Elementary School is ensuring kids feel secure and loved.

Shelby Traditional Academy welcomed Flash Dads to the school on Wednesday morning.

Flash Dads is a group of volunteers, including fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, pastors or other men in the community, who greet students as they arrive at school.

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It's a monthly celebration within JCPS, but like most parents across the country, these Flash Dads squeezed their kids extra tight Wednesday morning.

Rodney Burns is a grandfather of nine, who always shows up at his grandchildren's school events.

"I do it because I love my grandkids," Burns said. "I got nine of them," he added.

Three of his granddaughters are students at Shelby Traditional Academy. Alongside their classmates, these girls received the warmest welcome Wednesday morning.

"A lot of kids don't have male figures," Burns said. "There are a lot of single mothers doing this on their own."

This is where Flash Dads aim to enhance the image of strength and encouragement. From high fives, cheers, and uplifting signs, the hugs and well wishes go so far.

>> More JCPS News

"I do it to put a smile on my daughter's face," Joseph Starks said. "When she says oh my Daddy showed up at school, it's the big idea of that, just putting a smile on her face," he added.

Each month, JCPS' Flash Dads show up at the school unannounced, surprising the students. Wednesday morning's celebration appeared to be just as exciting as events past, but the thought of Tuesday's deadly school shooting in Benton lingered in some minds.

"I do think about it because you never know, it could happen to one of my grandkids," Burns explained. "It makes you wonder what is going through children's minds."

Interim Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio also stopped by with Flash Dads. He is also a father of a JCPS student.

"I have a seventh grader who got on the bus this morning and went to school," Pollio said.

"Of course it makes you stop and pause and double check our process and all of those things," Principal Kim Goff said. "But really what it makes us do is stop and look at our kids and each other and know that we trust each other very much and that the kids trust us," she added.

The next JCPS Flash Dads event is scheduled for February. But JCPS said date and location is a surprise.

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