When Is A Weapon Not A Weapon?

When a white person is holding it.

Whether it’s scissors or a disposable razor, if a white person is holding it, it’s an art project or a shaving lesson. If it’s a Black person using it, it’s suddenly a weapon that can destroy students’ and educators’ careers. 

If it’s a gun, it’s still not a weapon, as long as the person who discovered it is a white man. They apparently are allowed to decide the best course of action, even if it means breaking the law and returning it to the students’ family, as has happened on numerous occasions in JCPS.

What do I mean? Well, let’s start with this one:



All Eyes on Kentucky

All eyes are on Kentucky! And on Louisville, in particular.


Not only is there national interest in unseating the Country’s Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, who hails from our state, there’s also a badly needed tax measure on the ballot that will support racial equity in our public schools.

Just like the Kentucky Derby, once it starts, you won’t want to take your eyes off of us! Well, Kentucky began early voting across the state on Oct. 13, and mail-in ballots are also available. We have every indication Kentucky voter turnout will be high among all of our impacted communities. Jefferson County is home for half of the state’s Black population. And Black voters in Louisville are credited with the Governor’s narrow win in 2019. If positioned properly, this tax measure has the potential to drive a lot of Black and Black-allied voters to the polls, which could have significant impact on races up the ballot. Not to mention, there is a tea-party candidate running for our school board in District 7, who has been documented making anti-immigrant and anti-teacher comments, who thinks “privilege” is “politically correct bullkrap.”


We need all eyes on Kentucky! They may try to pull a fast one. You’ve seen our corrupt Attorney General and former Governor. These are folks with close ties to Mitch McConnell. With Breonna Taylor, a graduate from Jefferson County Public Schools, at the forefront of the movement for Black lives, and in particular Black female lives, Jefferson County is ground zero. This election creates a never-before seen window of opportunity to drive energized voters to the polls to bring meaningful change up and down the ballot.


In 2016, our organization successfully backed underdog school board candidates who vowed to hold the superintendent accountable. In 2017, we spearheaded a rally calling for her to step down, which she did. Since that time, Dear JCPS has been involved in successfully fending off many other predatory attacks, including a state takeover of our district, charter schools and vouchers, and removing ineffective and predatory public servants up and down the ballot. The 2020 election is no exception. 


Please see the attached information regarding our grassroots organization’s position on the issues and candidates for the 2020 election.




The release goes on to explain that the decision-making council for the People’s Agenda has not yet held a vote regarding their position on the tax increase. One could come as early as tomorrow.


Thank you,



Passing The Buck

This parent writes,

Have you ever questioned the JCPS school system? I’m going to share my story with you. Last year we decided to take our youngest son out of JCPS traditional school and put him into a private school. As the school began for this year I started receiving notifications that they had placed him as a student at Moore middle. I didn’t respond curious of how long it would take them to notice that he was not doing his school work. Long story short, yesterday I finally received a text saying that may son had not completed any work for this school year. I notified the school letting them know that it was very disappointing that it took them 7 weeks to notify me that my son had not did any work. Then I informed them my son was not even a student at their school and we have placed him in a private school. I thought that was the end of the story until today. Let me remind you my child does not go to Moore Middle and never has, today he received grades from Moore Middle!! They gave him a 60% for each week for four weeks. He does not even go to this school! The moral of this story is to be involved in your child’s education, no one cares about their education as much as you do. Ryan Bancroft

At another JCPS school, educators are instructed to give a 50% score, “even if a student has not attended a single class or submitted a single assignment.”

Could this be another harmful example of how in a system of “choice,” already punishing students and schools that don’t score well on high-stakes test scores, where disparities are exacerbated by a structurally racist student assignment plan, schools are forced to “compete” with each other? Could it be that administrators don’t want their low participation scores to show up on anyone’s radar? Is this a possible “work around” to prevent anyone from noticing that some of their students are falling behind?

Instead of a system that rewards players for their ability to pass the buck or sweep things under the rug, we need a system that empowers adults to stand up and advocate for our children. If not, why not?

Send your personal experiences to moderator@dearjcps.com. All responses are kept confidential unless we are instructed otherwise.


At-risk K-3 students should return to in-person learning

Dear JCPS,

My name is XXXX and my son is in 2nd grade at XXXX Elementary. I have been carefully watching our county’s positivity rate and balancing that against what I believe to be best for my child and I am writing to ask that you please give consideration to having the option of our youngest learners K-2/3 return to in-person learning.

I know that academically and socially, the best place for my child is in the classroom with more time with a teacher and access to his friends. I know that he can wear a mask during the day because he has been attending a day program at the YMCA. 

I also need him back in the classroom because he has been in limbo with IEP evaluations since March. We had our last ARC meeting on March 10th. I have been trying to get him help for almost a year. This is a group of children who are even more at risk with NTI. We are all doing the best we can, but without a formal plan in place or even knowing exactly where he falls, it’s like working with duck tape and bubble gum: it might all hold together for a while, but when the heat is on, it starts to fall apart. With NTI, the heat is on. 

Thank you for listening. 

JCPS Parent

Although this letter is posted with the author’s name withheld, that does not mean they are anonymous to Dear JCPS. To submit your concerns to the board and also have them posted here, use the handy link at www.dearjcps.com/advocate.


“Back to NTI 2.0” Survey

Please give us your feedback following your first two days of NTI in JCPS. If you are a teacher and a parent, please complete the survey twice. If you have students in more than one school, please complete the survey once for each school.

Your name is not required, however, we ask for your email address in order to minimize duplicates or false entries, or to follow up. Thank you!


Louisville Catholic Schools’ Quiet COVID Response

This is a message we received from a Louisville Catholic school parent:

“The teachers all thought surely the Archdiocese would listen to the Governor’s recommendation. When the Archdiocese announced that they would not be following the Governor’s recommendation, that’s when teachers started reaching out to me.

These are the things I’m most concerned about:

1. Teachers are afraid of losing their jobs, and are not being offered the opportunity to teach remotely instead of in-person. They are afraid of speaking up and talking to their peers for fear of retaliation for organizing as a “union.” Continue reading “Louisville Catholic Schools’ Quiet COVID Response”


3 Things You Can Do Today


After watching this week’s episode of Save Our Schools with Dear JCPS

  1. Complete the survey to let district leaders know your thoughts on safely returning to in-person school.
  2. Sign the pledge to stand with JCPS Grassroots Organizations as they stand up for our most vulnerable students.
  3. Join KEU to stay up-to-date with the latest actions and information related to state and national efforts to advocate for students, educators and our community!

Survey Says?

Survey Results as of 2 PM July 21, 2020. 200 Respondents.

Dear JCPS Superintendent and Board of Education,

Tonight, as you weigh difficult, critical decisions regarding when and how to safely return to in-person schooling, we thank you for keeping the health and safety of our students, their families and their teachers and all who work in the service of their care as your primary concern.

No doubt you’ve received numerous and varied points of data regarding this topic. Due to the extra layer of anonymity Dear JCPS provides, combined with our group’s intentional efforts to seek input from impacted community members, we believe that we bring a different perspective to the table.

We hope that you find useful the information reflected in our recent survey results revealing teachers’ willingness and ability to return to in-person schooling. May this feedback, along with parents’ needs, concerns and barriers also captured in the survey, help guide your decision making as you begin to phase-in, pair and prioritize students, adults and classrooms. We hope that you will take a moment to read some of the individual concerns that were shared with us by parents, teachers, staff and administrators, as well, which can be found here:

Survey Responses

Later this evening, we will be uploading the most recent episode of Save Our Schools with Dear JCPS. In it, we discuss the purpose of the survey, some surprise revelations regarding the proposed tax increase (including the overlooked West-End, black- and black-allied organizations’ stances on it and efforts underway to prevent them from being silenced), a new program we are proud to launch called Dear JCPS Teachable Moments, and more. We hope you will give it a watch, review the comments, and provide us with your feedback.

Thank you again for your hard work and bravery to make difficult decisions during these uncertain times.