Dear JCPS: “We are putting you on notice.”

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, Dear JCPS co-founder, Gay Adelmann, addressed the JCPS Board of Education, citing the potential for lawsuits with regards to the new student discipline law, the district’s documented failures to educate students in the juvenile justice system, and the willful incompetence when keeping track of these students, which appears to remain in existence today. We made demands for accountability and put them on notice. “There will be lawsuits.” Watch the video, which has been augmented with audio that was silenced when the mic was cut at the 3-minute mark, to hear the rest of what the board heard that night.  

Dear JCPS,

Let’s be honest.

Our leaders’ failures to heed the voices and demands of some of our most impacted community members is why so many of us are here tonight. 

Unfortunately, we hear from victims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and abuse who constantly tell us that some in district leadership have actively participated in the pushing out of “problem” students, employees, parents, grassroots organizations and individuals, who speak up for what’s right. 

Existing laws and policies have led to disproportionate harm to black, brown, LGBTQ, poor and disabled students and employees. 

That’s not an opinion. That’s evidenced not only by the data Chair Porter referred to, but also by the real-life stories that are brought to me on a daily basis, as co-founder of Dear JCPS. 

The student discipline bill the governor signed into law specifically targets JCPS students, SB150 will be compounded with the the student discipline bill to further weaponize these harmful activities. 

Use of tools such as the student handbook, the grievance and internal investigations process, are inherently biased upon implementation. 

3 out of 4 jailed Louisville youth are Black. I have an article I will share with you.

LMPD is building a new juvenile detention facility. They wouldn’t pour that much money into a new facility if they didn’t plan to fill it. That means quotas. 

Throw in weapons detection systems and police in schools and the pipeline to prison is full throttle and this law will further disproportionately impact our black, brown, queer and disabled kids. 

Make no mistake. They are coming for our kids.

What are you doing with our juveniles that are in JCPS right now?

I sent an open records request asking how many JCPS kids are in the juvenile justice system. 

They didn’t know.

(Show email reply.)

Are they lying by omission? Or are they literally incapable of keeping up with students in the criminal justice system and fulfilling their requirements by law? 

A colleague sent me the Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services Conditions Assessment Narrative Report from September 2017. I’m sure you’re familiar with it. On Page 6 of the report it says,

  • Youth are not receiving legally mandated general and special education services. 
  • The quality of special education services is lacking in many different areas (with some exceptions). 
  • The problems with lack of educational services for youth, such as the inability to provide in-person classroom instruction to more than half of youth at any given time, is an invitation for litigation by child advocates and parents of youth at the facility.

The report shows you were out of compliance with instructional hours and meeting IEPs. Managed to avoid a lawsuit this time. How can we be reassured you are not going to be out of compliance again? 

There’s gonna be a lawsuit. 

We are putting you on notice. 

Parents, If they ask your ECE kid to go virtual, don’t let them! It’s against the law!

The Kentucky Alliance Education committee, which I chair, is asking parents to come to us when they violate your students rights. 

I have a note from a teacher in an alternative school. Why is the district not paying the stipend to teachers in alternative schools? 

You guys are literally drowning them. Feels like you are doing it on purpose.

They can’t take more kids if they’re understaffed.

Only option left is going to be virtual or be pushed out.

As a taxpayer, I’m tired of our leaders wasting taxpayer dollars on secret settlements, committing fraud to cover up the lies and abusing the internal investigations process to cover their butts and committing the same harms over and over again. We want an outside audit on lawsuit settlements and internal investigations. An authentic one. Not more of your good old boy gatekeepers.

We want all your data on alternative schools.

How much RP are you doing?

What are the ratios, diagnostic tools, demographics, budgets for the storm that’s coming?

What alternative program will you have for them?

Ask the questions we’d be asking if you hadn’t denied us seats at your table.

This ship is sinking. Start the superintendent search now. Unseal the settlements. Let us know how much you’re paying and what the allegations are and fix that instead of continuing to waste more and more money on back end solutions, such as weapons detection systems that will cut into badly needed funds that would otherwise be spent on actually nurturing and educating our community’s children.

Which side are you on? Who are you afraid of? What do we need to do to make it be us? Because we’ll do it. We’ve had enough.

Thank you.

If you would like to confidentially report examples of violations of students’ rights or retaliation for reporting them, please email us at