LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Lily Ades is a seventh grader at Noe Middle School in Louisville, and, as she told the JCPS board Tuesday night, this year's mass shooting inside schools in Kentucky and Florida have put school safety at the front of her mind.
"I was just so scared," Lily said. "What if, like, they came after us, and we had a mass shooting and some of my friends would get hurt?"
Lily joined several students and parents who addressed the JCPS board at Tuesday night's meeting, asking for the district to spend more money on safety measures.
"Two guns were found that were loaded in lockers last year," said Cheryl Ades, Lily's mother. "It's very, very easy for me to get into the school. All I have to do is knock on the cafeteria door, as a kid sees me, I motion for that child to let me in."
They want to see the board do whatever it takes to make school safety, they say, "state of the art."
"(We want) to really implore them to do what they need to do, whether it's issue bonds or raise property taxes, in order to really update the infrastructure of our children's schools," Ades said.
High schooler Audrey Champelli would like to see a focus on school mental health resources.
"I know there are a lot of people here specifically to advocate for metal detectors and things of that nature, and I'm here to kind of urge the board to maybe take a step back, and before looking at things like that, that come after a student has already decided to act out violently, look at what we can do before it ever gets that far," she said.
JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said each school regularly updates its safety plan but said that schools need help from state lawmakers.
"I want to lend my voice to encourage legislators to increase funding for safety and security measures throughout our school," he said. "I think we can do that with significant funding."
Pollio added that he wants to increase funding for mental health counselors inside every JCPS school.
"I think those are critical measures that we can do together as a district and state and as a nation as we move forward," Pollio said.
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