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

JCPS, LMPD investigating sexual assault on school bus

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JCPS school bus (WDRB file photo) JCPS school bus (WDRB file photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is investigating a sexual assault that took place last week on a school bus.

Allison Martin, a JCPS spokeswoman, confirmed to WDRB on Tuesday that the incident occurred Thursday while the students were riding the bus, and that the Louisville Metro Police Department and Child Protective Services are investigating.

"While reviewing security footage from a bus, our employees saw an incident involving two students," Martin said. "Our employees immediately notified the schools, families, Louisville Metro Police and Child Protective Services."

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.

Sources tell WDRB that the students attend Kammerer Middle School and Ballard High School and that they were on a special-needs bus assigned to the district's Special Needs East Bus Compound, located at 10705 Blue Lick Road.

Martin confirmed that the bus involved "transports special-needs students" but that none of the students on the bus had aides or assistants assigned to them, as part of their Individualized Education Program, which is a written document developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education.

She added that she could not provide any more details because of the ongoing investigation and personnel actions.

"The safety of all students in our buildings and on our buses is a top priority for the district," Martin said.

JCPS board member Linda Duncan believes putting permanent bus monitors on certain buses would help.

"It's very alarming when incidents happen on the bus that we hope we have ways of preventing," Duncan said. "We have to be prepared to avoid these (incidents) as much as possible. We hope that we can respond to this in a way that will assure parents that we are watching, and this will not happen again."

This is at least the second time this school year that there has been a sexual assault on a school bus. 

On Sept. 16, a Waller-Williams Environmental School student on a special needs school bus was sexually assaulted by another student. In that case, there were three adults on the bus -- the driver, a special needs transportation assistant and a school-based instructional assistant who was assigned to ride the bus that day.

According to disciplinary records obtained by WDRB, that incident involved "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."

District officials have since confirmed that the bus driver and special needs transportation assistant were fired and the school-based instructional assistant resigned.

Waller-Williams, a school located on Rockford Lane, is for students with severe and profound emotional and/or behavioral disabilities.

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

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