JCPS, LMPD investigating sexual assault on special-needs school - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS, LMPD investigating sexual assault on special-needs school bus

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two Jefferson County Public Schools employees have been suspended and a third has resigned after a student on a special needs school bus was sexually assaulted by another student.

Allison Martin, a JCPS spokeswoman, confirmed to WDRB on Monday that the incident occurred Sept. 16 while the students were riding the bus, and that the Louisville Metro Police Department's Crimes Against Children Unit is investigating.

Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for LMPD, confirmed that his department is investigating "an alleged sexual assault" but said he could not release any other details.

Through an open records request, WDRB obtained a copy of the disciplinary action taken against the two employees involving "an incident of sexual behavior between two students on a special needs bus. The student tried to alert all personnel on the bus to the incident, but none saw the student or recognized the incident."

The letters state that "due to the serious nature of this incident, and (employee’s) failure to recognize and intervene" JCPS placed them on indefinite suspension without pay, effective Sept. 22.

Martin would not identify the employees, only to say that the two being disciplined are a bus driver and special needs transportation assistant and that the employee who resigned was a school-based instructional assistant who was assigned to ride the bus that day.

Both were assigned to the district's Special Needs East Bus Compound, which is located at 10705 Blue Lick Road.

The names of the two employees who were suspended were redacted from the documents obtained by WDRB, although the special needs transportation assistant has been employed since 2003 and the bus driver has worked for JCPS since 2002.

"Student identifying information, consisting of student disabilities, bus personnel names, and any other information that could be used to identify a student, has been redacted in order to protect the student’s privacy," Martin said. "Due to the nature of this bus, disclosure of the employees’ names could identify the student."

Martin said the school-based instructional assistant had been facing termination but instead resigned on Sept. 22.

A source tells WDRB that the students attend Waller-Williams Environmental School. The school on Rockford Lane is for students with severe and profound emotional and/or behavioral disabilities.

Although Martin would not confirm that, she said JCPS "is recommending termination" for the two employees who have been suspended.

"The safety of all students in our buildings and on our buses is a top priority for the district," Martin said. "The district can provide no further details because of an ongoing investigation and personnel actions."

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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