Education

More than a month after video captured Jeffersontown Police officers kicking and tazing a high school student, Jefferson County Public School’s acting superintendent is calling for changes at Jeffersontown High School.

Acting Superintendent Marty Pollio first called for a series of audits and investigations after video of the incident spread through local media. Pollio said the review showed positive steps being taken at the school and that security resource officers were not directly involved in the arrest of the student.

But Pollio said the investigation also unveiled areas for improvement, including consistency and structure for how schools and officers discipline students. He recommended as series of changes to district and school policies which, he said, will make school environments safer.

“While law enforcement may be following their training and protocols, there may be alternative responses better suited for a school setting,” Pollio said. “I will immediately begin working with my staff to draft recommended policies and update our existing agreements with departments that provide our school resource officers.”

Pollio recommended the district specify officers’ roles and responsibilities, offer more guidance to JCPS officers and create an oversight and review process for security officers.

Pollio plans to immediately begin drafting policies and updating agreements with departments providing school security. He said JCPS has had several meetings with Jeffersontown Police, and that all involved police departments are willing to collaborate with proposed changes.

J-Town Police Chief Kenneth Hatmaker previously defended the officers’ actions seen in the video. Hatmaker released a second video which purportedly showed one of the students tugging at an officer’s weapon during the incident.

J-Town police were not available to comment on this story.

Pollio said a permanent Jeffersontown High School principal should be named by early February. The school’s former principal, who sent a letter the day of the incident promising to punish students involved, resigned six days later.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.