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'It was very traumatizing.' | Gun seized from student at Eastern High School; parents, students disagree with JCPS

Eastern was on heightened security after JCPS says a gun fell out of a student's backpack during a fight. Not everyone agrees with the district's version of events.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Terrified parents picked their children up from Eastern High School Monday after a student was found with a gun.

Serenity Carr said she went to the bathroom during her lunch break and came back to chaos in the cafeteria.

“I saw two dudes fighting. And then one of the dudes put a gun on the other dude. And I stood frozen in the bathroom doorway because I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Serenity said she saw an ROTC instructor tackle the student with the gun and the gun slide across the floor to another student’s foot.

She described students jumping over tables, trying to escape.

“I saw a bunch of my classmates crying and they wasn't able to stop,” she recalled.

Serenity's mom, Kady Giovannelli, said she was horrified.

“It was very traumatizing. So, until your child actually gets in your arms and like they're okay, you're never prepared for any of this stuff. Nobody ever is,” Giovannelli said.

Jefferson County Public Schools said the gun was never brandished or pulled on another student. The district said it fell from the student’s backpack, saying they reviewed video surveillance and talked to adults involved in the situation.

The said the gun was immediately secured, but the mother and daughter don’t buy it.

“[I] feel like that they are just trying to protect themselves,” Serenity said.

She said she's witnessed other violent incidents before. They both said the district needs to tighten up its safety measures.

“I really don't feel safe in that school after all these incidents that has happened. No metal detectors. No, nothing is in that school,” Serenity said. 

“The issue before was, ‘oh, they don't want to bring cops in schools because kids are afraid of guns and cops carry guns.’ Well, I'm sorry. These kids are bringing guns in," Giovannelli said. "They have no protection in this school.”

Giovannelli said her daughter will no longer attend Eastern. It is news that would normally be hard for a rising senior to hear, but Serenity says it’s worth it.

“If it protects me and keeps me safe, then honestly, I'm probably going to be a lot happier,” she said.

And her mother says it will give her peace of mind.

Eastern High School officials sent a letter to families, Monday evening and had additional security for the rest of the day and heightened the security level.

The student who brought the gun to Eastern, and those involved in the cafeteria fight, will be disciplined according to the student handbook, according to the letter.

Letter sent to Eastern families:

January 23, 2023

Dear Eastern High School Families, 

The safety and security of our students and staff is always our top priority. I’m writing to ensure you have accurate information about a situation impacting our school today. 

During a fight in the cafeteria, a gun fell out of a student’s backpack and slid across the cafeteria floor. The gun was immediately secured and we called LMPD, JCPS Police, and raised our security level. 

I have requested additional security at our school for the rest of the day and we will remain at a heightened security level. 

While no one was physically hurt, we understand this situation can be traumatic. Our school mental health team is available for any students who would like to talk about what happened. 

The student who brought the gun to school and those involved in the fight will be disciplined according to the Student Support and Behavior Intervention Handbook. Please review this handbook with your student and continue the school safety conversation with your student(s): 

  • No weapon should ever be brought to school or on a school bus.
  • If you see something, say something.
  • Directly contact a teacher, counselor, or administrator when a school-related concern arises that requires intervention or assistance. 
  • Report any rumors or information about an unsafe situation or behavior to an adult. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through the school office at 502-485-8243. 


Dr. Heather Orman 



This story may be updated.

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