LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – In the first two weeks of the 2021-22 school year, Jefferson County Public Schools has handed out 582 behavior referrals to students who have fought with fellow students and staff.

JCPS reports that 425 fights have occurred at schools as of Aug. 24, according to data obtained by WDRB News through an open records request.

Of the 582 behavior referrals, the district has doled out 713 resolutions. The district has mostly resolved fights by suspending students from schools with 209 out-of-school suspensions reported.

At times, footage of altercations this school year have been caught on cell phone cameras and made headlines in Louisville.

“I want the responsible parties to be held accountable for that,” said Jamie, a mother who said her daughter had been stabbed in the forehead during a fight at Fern Creek High School. “… She’s going to have to live with it for the rest of her life.”

Violence broke out at Fern Creek High after Jamie’s daughter was blamed for spreading a sexually explicit video of one of the assailants’ sisters, which the girl denied.

“Eventually they found out who sent the video,” the daughter, a Fern Creek junior who did not want to be identified, told WDRB News. “It was another boy from a different bus, but I guess that didn’t change that they wanted to fight.”

Cell phone video captured the incident, like others so far this school year. JCPS says four students involved in the Fern Creek High fight were disciplined. Jamie’s daughter was suspended for three days.

“It’s hard to watch someone repeatedly stabbing and hurting your baby,” Jamie said. “… I have watched that video I know 45 times.”

Jamie’s daughter initially thought she had hit a wall because she felt something hit her head. Blood, she said, was “everywhere” in the aftermath of the altercation.

“The nurse lady, she had asked me did I hit a wall or did I get stabbed with something, and I just assumed that I had hit a wall until everybody was telling me that she stabbed me,” the daughter said, “and then I looked at the video.”

Fern Creek High is not alone in dealing with violence involving students so far this school year.

A student faces a charge of bringing a gun on school property after a pellet gun was found in a trash can outside Pleasure Ridge Park High School following an altercation there, and Marion C. Moore School chemistry teacher William Bennet is under investigation after getting into a fight with a student, who says he was provoked after Bennett made a racially charged comment toward him.

Hundreds more violence incidents have not garnered as much public attention, however.

The Binet School, which serves students with severe disabilities, reported 32 violent incidents that resulted in 32 referrals, the most in JCPS so far. Goldsmith Elementary School had the second-most with 22 fights followed by Cane Run Elementary with 21, Marion C. Moore with 19 and Kammerer Middle School with 17.

Renee Murphy, head of communications for JCPS, said data provided by the district to WDRB News represents “a range of different incidents, some more serious than others.”

“I also think it's important to note that many of our students have not been in our buildings with us physically since March of 2020, and so we know all that’s happened throughout the course of that time that we were apart,” Murphy said. “… Things have happened in our community and are still playing out in our community, and it’s important for us here at JCPS to make sure that we have the supports that students need when they are with us.”

Marion C. Moore had the most out-of-school suspensions so far this school year with 20 followed by Crosby Middle School with 15, Kammerer Middle with 14 and Meyzeek Middle School with 13, according to JCPS data.

Eighty-six referrals throughout JCPS were handled through phone calls with guardians, 60 were resolved with conferences with guardians and 57 resulted in either full or partial in-school suspensions, JCPS records show.

Seventy percent of referrals after violent incidents have been doled out to male students, who represent 59 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

More violent incidents have been reported at JCPS elementary and middle schools than at the district’s high schools. District data show 171 fights reported in kindergarten through fifth grade and 174 reported in sixth through eighth grade compared to 80 in high school grades.

Middle school students make up the bulk of behavior referrals at JCPS with 267 reported in those grades, according to JCPS data.

Metro Louisville is dealing with an uptick in violence and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trauma and its effects, Murphy said, don’t leave students once they cross the thresholds from their communities to their schools.

“Just because we are at school, it doesn't mean that any trauma or hurt doesn’t come with a student as well, so that’s why it’s important for us to make sure that we have our supports in place to make sure that students have what they need when they’re with us,” she said.

Fights in schools has rekindled interest from some on bringing officers back in schools in some capacity.

The COVID-19 pandemic sidelined talks among members of the Jefferson County Board of Education about creating an internal force of school security officers. City budget cuts pulled 17 LMPD officers from school beats as resource officers, and a split board vote meant contracts with other police agencies for 11 school resource officers were not approved ahead of the 2019-20 school year.

“I think that’s been a question that has been raised, and so we have told families that we want to have a conversation with them,” Murphy said. “… We know that there are views on both sides of this issue, so we want to make sure that we have this conversation and we can present information to our board when that time comes with the input from our community.”

JCPS fight behavior incidents by school and resolution

Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4 Field 5 Field 6 Field 7 Field 8 Field 9 Field 10 Field 11 Field 12 Field 13 Field 14 Field 15 Field 16 Field 17 Field 18 Field 19 Field 20 Field 21 Field 22 Field 23 Field 24 Field 25 Field 26 Field 27 Field 28 Field 29 Field 30 Field 31 Field 32 Field 33 Field 34 Field 35 Field 36 Field 37 Field 38 Field 39 Field 40 Field 41 Field 42 Field 43 Field 44 Field 45 Field 46 Field 47 Field 48 Field 49 Field 50 Field 51 Field 52 Field 53 Field 54 Field 55 Field 56 Field 57 Field 58 Field 59 Field 60 Field 61 Field 62 Field 63 Field 64 Field 65 Field 66 Field 67 Field 68 Field 69 Field 70 Field 71 Field 72 Field 73 Field 74 Field 75 Field 76 Field 77 Field 78 Field 79 Field 80 Field 81 Field 82 Field 83 Field 84 Field 85 Field 86 Field 87
Alex R Kennedy Elementary Atherton High Atkinson Academy Auburndale Elementary Audubon Traditional Elementary Ballard High Bates Elementary Binet School Blake Elementary Bowen Elementary Brooklawn Butler Traditional High Camp Taylor Elementary Cane Run Elementary Carrithers Middle Churchill Park School Cochran Elementary Cochrane Elementary Coleridge-Taylor Montessori Elementary Conway Middle Crosby Middle Crums Lane Elementary Doss High Dunn Elementary Engelhard Elementary Fairdale High Farnsley Middle Fern Creek Elementary Fern Creek High Foster Traditional Academy Frederick Law Olmsted Academy North Frederick Law Olmsted Academy South Goldsmith Elementary Greenwood Elementary Hawthorne Elementary Highland Middle Home Of The Innocents School Iroquois High Jacob Elementary Jefferson County Traditional Middle Jeffersontown Elementary Jeffersontown High Johnson Traditional Middle Johnsontown Road Elementary Kammerer Middle Kennedy Montessori Elementary Kerrick Elementary King Elementary Klondike Lane Elementary Knight Middle Lassiter Middle Laukhuf Elementary Liberty High Luhr Elementary Marion C. Moore School Mary Jo and William MacDonald Maryhurst Maupin Elementary Meyzeek Middle Middletown Elementary Minors Lane Elementary Newburg Middle Noe Middle Peace Academy Pleasure Ridge Park High Price Elementary Ramsey Middle Rangeland Elementary Sanders Elementary Seneca High Shacklette Elementary Shelby Traditional Academy Slaughter Elementary Southern High Stuart Academy The Academy @ Shawnee The Phoenix School Of Discovery Thomas Jefferson Middle Tully Elementary Valley High Waggener High Waller-Williams Environmental Western Day Treatment Western High Western Middle School for the Arts Westport Middle Total
Total Fights 2 4 1 4 1 1 1 32 2 3 4 6 1 21 2 2 3 15 15 7 14 2 4 8 2 1 4 3 4 1 1 2 22 1 2 7 1 9 1 1 2 4 12 1 17 2 1 2 2 4 6 4 1 1 19 9 1 9 4 4 3 6 2 3 1 7 1 10 1 4 1 2 3 14 5 1 6 4 4 5 8 1 6 1 4 425
Total Referrals from Fights 2 6 1 4 1 1 1 32 2 3 7 6 1 22 2 2 3 24 15 12 20 3 6 10 2 1 6 4 9 1 1 4 22 1 2 9 1 15 1 2 2 7 23 1 33 2 1 2 2 7 7 4 1 1 31 9 2 15 4 4 5 11 2 9 1 15 1 10 4 9 2 3 3 23 5 2 7 4 6 8 10 1 11 1 4 582
Total Resolutions from Referrals 4 6 2 4 1 1 1 39 2 4 7 6 1 26 2 2 3 24 15 16 27 3 7 15 2 1 6 8 12 1 1 4 24 1 3 16 1 22 1 2 2 10 23 1 47 2 1 2 4 12 8 4 1 1 37 9 2 17 4 4 5 12 2 12 1 16 1 10 4 18 4 3 3 23 5 2 12 7 8 13 21 1 11 1 4 713
Behavior Contract * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 1
Behavior Reflection * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 5
BIP * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 5
Bus Suspension Full * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 35
Counselor Conference * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 10
Detention * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 2
ISAP Full Day * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 15
ISAP PARTIAL DAY * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 42
Letter Sent * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 1
Mental Health Conference * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 4
Mobile Assessment * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 1
Office Time Out * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 10
Parent/Guardian Conference * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 60
Peer Conflict Mediation * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 25
Phone Call * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 10 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 86
Positive Action Center * * * * * * * 15 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 25
Restorative Circle * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 3
Restorative Conversation * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 40
Restorative Formal Conference * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 8
Restraint * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 39
School Restitution * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 2
Seclusion * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 8
SSP3 Out of School Suspension * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 15 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 12 * 14 * * * * * * * * * 20 * * 13 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 11 * * * * * * * * * * * 209
Student Conference * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 16 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 49
Team Time Out * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 14 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 14
No Resolution * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 14

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