Acting Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Marty Pollio on Thursday outlined his plan regarding an incident at Jeffersontown High School.
A pair of teenage brothers were arrested and several police officers injured when a fight broke out at a Jeffersontown High School on Wednesday.
“I’m very concerned about what I saw yesterday and what took place at Jeffersontown High School,” Pollio said.
Video circulating on social media shows several Jeffersontown police officers tackling a high school student to the ground before tasing him.
“When I see video that clearly indicates it’s not a supportive environment for our students, I feel incumbent on me to take action.”
Pollio said there would be two reviews done at Jeffersontown High School. One will investigate what happened when police tased the student. The second will evaluate the safety and climate within the high school.
“It will go into things like culture and a sense of belonging for all of our students,” Pollio said.
Pollio said he’s sending out a letter to parents, letting them know he’s taking immediate action to figure out what led to the situation.
“I’m concerned, very concerned about what I saw,” Pollio said. “Most importantly, for me, are the staff and students at J-town High School, right now.”
Pollio said he doesn’t have a timeline on when the reviews will be finished.
According to a JCPS spokesperson, the school’s resource officer, who works for Jeffersontown Police Department, intervened in a fight between two students in the cafeteria.
One of those students attempted to fight the officer, prompting him to call for backup, police said. That student was led out of school around 1 p.m. with several students, including his brother following.
Jeffersontown Police Chief Ken Hatmaker said the student was furious over his brother’s arrest and when he went back inside, he punched an officer in the head.
After the initial punch, Hatmaker, watching the video, said: “The officer is scrambling on his hands and feet, trying to get back up off the ground, regain his composure and footing. The young man hits him again, knocking him against the wall.”
A second video has been shared thousands of times on social media and WLKY is still trying to get permission to use that video. It shows what happens moments later when two other officers get involved. The student is held on the ground and police admit, he is hit with a Taser. An officer is also seen displaying a Taser in an effort to gain control of the crowd.
Hatmaker said his officers acted within their rights: “We try to do right. We will do right but, you know, we’re not going to get beat up and play victim and not defend ourselves and that’s what we did today defend ourselves.”
Those officers involved, Hatmaker said, would not be put on administrative leave. He said the men received only minor injuries including cuts and bruises.
The two brothers, both younger than 18, are facing various charges including assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
Matt Kingsley, the principal at Jeffersontown High School, released a statement reading in part: “These kinds of incidents will not be tolerated at Jeffersontown High School. I am in the process of reviewing school security footage to determine every student involved. Those students will be disciplined to the fullest extent our policies will allow.”