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JCPS parents, bus drivers hope for less threats following recent incident

JCPS Police are investigating the incident, but district officials say they can't be responsible for things that happen on city streets.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some parents at Noe Middle School are worried about how their kids get to school and how safe they are during the day after an incident on Thursday where a parent allegedly followed a school bus brandishing a gun.

"I shouldn't have to worry about my kid coming home from school every day. School's supposed to be the safest place," Kristal Smith, who has a daughter at the school, said.

On Sept. 22, a parent approached a group of kids who were waiting outside of Keystone Learning Academy in Algonquin for the bus to take them to school.

The unidentified parent, who a JCPS spokesperson said was a woman, then reportedly got in her car and followed the school bus to Noe Middle, and flashed a gun to the riders.

Smith said while her daughter doesn't ride the specific bus where the incident took place, she does ride school buses occasionally. She says JCPS is doing what they can but the issue is more about guns in the community.

In a letter to parents, Noe Middle School Principal Jennifer Cave said the school works to provide a safe area for students to learn. 

"Our students' success depends not only on what we do inside Noe Middle School," Cave said. "But on the support, encouragement, and guidance out students receive in the community."

The JCPS Police Department is investigating the incident, and the spokesperson said, "Community members need to be held responsible for their actions and this is a community issue, not the fault of JCPS."

Teamsters Local 783 President John Stovall, who represents school bus drivers, says he hopes there are charges filed in this case. He says if any driver ever feels threatened, he encourages them to file a report with the district.

"If they feel strongly enough about it, or if they feel threatened about it, then fill out a warrant and it's up to the district to push it through. And I think that's sometimes where it falls through. Until we hold these people accountable, nothing's going to change. And then someone's really going to get hurt on a bus," Stovall said.

Cave said the school made mental health providers available for students to talk about the incident and are investigating more into the actions of the adult.

If any parents have any lingering questions, they can contact the principal through the middle school's office at 502-485-8307.

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