JCPS responds to complaints from teachers about violence at Mino - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS responds to complaints from teachers about violence at Minor Daniels Academy

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Assaults, robberies and teachers who are afraid to come to work -- those are some of the problems reported at the new Minor Daniels alternative school.

JCPS responded to the controversy Wednesday morning by giving several members of the media a tour of the school -- but cameras were not allowed inside. 

Minor Daniels was created for both middle and high school students with behavioral problems. The district is trying a new approach to educating these kids. Instead of strict discipline, they're trying something called restorative practices, requiring teachers and staff to not just punish bad behavior but help kids resolve their issues.

The goal is to return kids to class.

Principal Don Dillard admits the process is sometimes messy and not every teacher is buying in.

"A lot of teachers and educators want to move kids around and not deal with the problems," said  Dillard. "We have challenging kids, they would not be in this school if they were not challenging....

"We have a lot of kids in here that assault teachers. But sometimes we have educators that concentrate on the problem and not the actual kid or the potential of the kid."

JCPS Equity Officer John Marshall says the program needs more time. 

"I don't think we have given it enough time to really let it get wings and fly," Marshall said. "But we do understand that the stuff we're putting in is research-based and is proven to help students in any school, particularly schools with fragile students like this one." 

JCPS first began talking about Minor Daniels as a new alternative school in February. At the time, school board members were concerned about the timing, and questioned whether it could be quickly implemented. Part of the problem was that Kennedy Metro was being closed in Jeffersontown, and they needed a place to put the students. 

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