Interim JCPS superintendent Marty Pollio discusses school safety

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Reports of fights, gangs and guns inside JCPS schools have left parents wondering about the safety of their children. Now interim superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio is trying to address those concerns. 

Recent events in JCPS schools are fueling parents' concerns: last week the city's police chief said youth gangs are recruiting inside JCPS schools. On Monday, police found a loaded gun at Eastern High School and two students were arrested. In early November, a student was tased during a fight involving a school resource officer

Now, after six months on the job, Pollio sat down to answer some tough questions about school safety. 

Pollio says he realizes issues that impact the streets also impact schools, but he wants parents to know that JCPS schools are safe for their children.

"I believe we have safe schools -- I do. I mean I believe that our administrators, our staff works hard to make sure we identify any problems that are occurring. I have a child in Jefferson County Public Schools myself so it's very important to me that we have safe schools."

Pollio says he knows the district needs to make improvements across the board, and that's something he's committed to doing -- and part of why he is hoping his interim position becomes permanent. 

"As I see the passion that so many employees in JCPS have for teaching, for being a part of a school community, and for improving the lives of kids, I feel it's my mission, if chosen, to do this for multiple years."

So far, nine people have applied for the position. A Superintendent Screening Committee is reviewing the applications and will send its recommendations to the Board of Education. The board will consider those recommendations along with public input over the next several weeks. 

JCPS says it hopes to make a decision by mid-March.

The new superintendent will replace Donna Hargens, who resigned in July.


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