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Principal describes 'possible drug problem' inside Louisville middle school

"I hate the we have a possible drug problem in our middle school," the school's principal told staff.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Police spoke with students at one Jefferson County middle school on Friday in response to a possible drug problem within the school, according to an internal email from the school's principal. 

The email, provided to WHAS11 by an anonymous employee at Conway Middle School, details recent incidents at the school. 

"As you may have heard, we had 2 additional students state that they smoked a vape with some type of drug in it," Principal Jeannie Lett told staff. "I ask that you pay attention to your students and what they are saying. At this point, we need to monitor, monitor, monitor."

Lett's email was sent late Thursday night to the staff of "JCPS 164." According to the district's 2022-2023 phone directory, the call number "164" is for Conway Middle School.

She asked the staff to not allow students to go to the restrooms without some type of supervision.

"If drugs are getting into our school, we need to find out who is bringing them in," Lett said. "I hate that we have a possible drug problem in our middle school."

JCPS would not confirm the authenticity of the email but did not dispute it. 

WHAS11 has also confirmed there have been multiple EMS runs to the middle school this week.

It's unclear if this is connected to another incident that took place at the school on Wednesday, where school officials notified parents of a "medical emergency" involving one of the students.

The employee who shared the principal's letter spoke with WHAS11.

They described a violent culture at the school.

"This teacher yesterday, today, she showed me the bruises on her arm from a kid yesterday," the employee said.

The employee said several students have overdosed on drugs in recent days.

"The only kid I saw was the one in the stretcher being wheeled out from the nurse's office out the door into the ambulance," they said.

The employee also said others have reached out to the district and the teachers' union, but they don't feel heard.

"I talked to my local representative and I emailed what was going on - kids running the building, smoking in the bathrooms, no discipline," they said. "We're not good. Nothing's getting better, please help."

Jefferson County Teachers' Association President Brent McKim said the district did send two assistant superintendents to review the processes that are in place in the building but says additional help could be possible.

"I would encourage them to continue to communicate with the teachers association, what's working, what's not," McKim said. "We will be their advocate with the district."

McKim said district-wide short staffing also plays a role.

The Conway Middle School employee said several employees, including a security guard, have quit. They said there aren't enough staff to handle the nearly 800 students at the school.

The employee also points to a lack of consequences for negative behavior.

McKim said sometimes the issues in schools go beyond the four walls.

"There are kids that are experiencing trauma in their home life, and a lot of that winds up manifesting itself at school as problems," he said.

The Conway employee knows this all too well and said it'll take a large community and parent push to grapple with the issues.

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