Community Education

A week after video surfaced online showing Jeffersontown police officers holding down and using a Taser on a student, Jeffersontown High School’s principal said he would step down from his position.

Principal Matt Kingsley’s email to parents on Tuesday — shared by a spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools — said Kingsley requested a voluntary demotion to serve as an assistant principal.

Kingsley’s email said Michelle Dillard, an assistant superintendent, would take over at Jeffersontown High School until an acting principal is named. A search for a permanent replacement would start soon after.

“I want you to know that I am thankful for the time spent with your families, and I value the time I’ve served as principal,” Kingsley’s email said. “The teachers, staff and students at Jeffersontown are amazing, and I am a better person because of my time here at Jeffersontown High.”

The video, posted on Twitter by social justice activist Shaun King, shows Jeffersontown police officers holding down a student after the school’s security resource officer requested backup. In the video, one officer can be seen kicking the student while two other officers hold him down on the ground.

The video skips forward and shows a police officer using a Taser on that student. Jeffersontown police say a second video shows the student striking the officer, leading to the use of the Taser.

Kingsley sent a letter to parents after the incident, promising to investigate and to hold students involved in the incident accountable. That letter did not mention the Jeffersontown police involved.

Jefferson County Public Schools Acting Superintendent Marty Pollio previously said the principal’s response was appropriate at the time of the incident, but he said he would’ve preferred to have more information before notifying parents.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.