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Group blasts bill to arm security officers in Kentucky schools

They are highly concerned about Senate Bill 8, which they say less than 10 lawmakers voted against it in the House.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A bill requiring Kentucky police in schools is headed back to the governor’s desk and now board members with the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression are speaking out, saying the bill shouldn't be signed.

They are highly concerned about Senate Bill 8, which would require school resource officers to be armed and it's now on Governor Andy Beshear's desk after being passed in the House of Representatives 77-9 on Friday.

Board members like Chanelle Helm feel this bill seems to be targeting policing students of color.

"The only person that they've been charging and hyper-criminalizing is black and brown children and ESL children," Helm said.

After people walked into the Capitol with semi automatic rifles, dressed in camouflage and in masks, just a few days ago, that message became even clearer to her.

"So we're wondering who Kentucky thinks is the real enemy because right now they are choosing black and brown children from Louisville and other urban areas, and we feel like it's just collateral damage for whatever funding they want to take place," Helm said.

The organization shared concerns from one Jefferson County Public School teacher and parent who feels the bill seems to target and police students of color – highlighting how they are questioning the motive of lawmakers and leadership in education.

In their words, “kids do not and have not felt safe around armed police officers.”

She, along with the other board members, feel the bill is also aimed at JCPS schools specifically, all while the district is just one step away from possibly implementing their own armed safety officers.

If SB8 is signed, it would require JCPS to have armed officers, which is part of their current plan. The board's policy committee will discuss the finalized plan one last time.

That will happen at its meeting on Feb. 18 and Dr. Pollio says depending how that goes, the plan should then be voted on by the full board in March.

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RELATED: Plan for JCPS security force taking shape, nearing final vote

Contact reporter Jessie Cohen at JCohen@whas11.com and follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram  

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