Parents consider transferring students after Jeffersontown incident

Parents consider transferring students after Jtown incident

(LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A video from Jeffersontown High School caused concern among parents, students, and now JCPS administrators.

“Clearly what we saw on video and most of our community saw yesterday did not indicate a healthy, safe and healthy academic learning climate, which is a major concern for me,” said Interim Superintendent at JCPS, Marty Pollio.

Pollio said will launch two investigations into the incident.  One will look at the safety climate in the school - the other will look into the actions taken by the school staff.

“Specifically that review will concern the actions of JCPS personnel, and whether the incident could've been prevented or been handled in a different way,” he explained. 

Raeshanda Johnson has three kids who attend Jeffersontown High School and told WHAS 11 News that her son was in the cafeteria when the incident intensified.

“My son texted me and he said ‘mom,’ I said, ‘yes sir?’ He said, ‘mom, it's crazy over here.’”

The videos capture the third fight of the day.  One shows a student grabbing a Jeffersontown Police Officer and ramming him into the wall.

The other shows three officers holding that student to the ground, and one of those officers appearing to kick the student multiple times. Jeffersontown Police Chief Ken Hatmaker defended the actions of his officers.   

“If you saw the knees coming back, that is a knee strike and they’re taught that.  It is practiced, trained on, it is a compliance technique to gain control of individuals,” Hatmaker said.

“It's a sticky situation because they are trying to protect themselves, and you're like, hey that's someone's child on the ground and it could've been my son,” said Johnson. 

Johnson believes these investigations brought on by Pollio may calm the situation, but told WHAS 11 News that after the way things escalated on Wednesday, she's considering moving her kids out of the school. 

“I don't know if I should or not. We've moved around enough and I just want them to have some kind of stability, but the way things are looking there, I don't think [I would keep them there].”

Several groups including Dear JCPS and Black Lives Matter of Louisville have called the officer's actions excessive use of force. 

The Jeffersontown Police Department will be reviewing security video from the high school.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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