All JCPS schools to operate under “heightened security level” Friday


Amanda Tu

All Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) will be on a “heightened security level” Friday, Jan. 8 due to a nonspecific threat received through the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) tip line.

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, JCPS Chief Operating Officer Mr. Michael Raisor declined to expand on the specifics of the threat, which was made against unnamed schools and not directed toward public or private institutions in particular.

Raisor said that the school district initially heard news of the threat yesterday, and board members have been in regular contact with the LMPD since then.

JCPS schools will operate under Security Level Three—one step above normal operations—on a five-category building safety scale developed by the JCPS Security and Investigations Unit.

Assistant Principal Mr. Darryl Farmer emailed this copy of the Building Security Levels Quick Reference Sheet to teachers Thursday afternoon.

Under Level Three security, a “possible threat [has been] identified to building, personnel or area.” All outdoor activities are cancelled, student movement is minimized and monitored at all times, and exterior doors are locked to “prevent doors being held open for unauthorized persons.”

“The school day will run like any other, except we won’t do anything outside, we’ll have people in the hallway during class changes, we’ll have people outside during class changes between YPAS and Manual, and we’ll take the heightened awareness very seriously,” Manual Assistant Principal Mr. Gregory Kuhn said. “For students, it won’t look any different.”

Kuhn said that at least three LMPD officers will be stationed on Manual’s campus for the duration of the school day. Kuhn also said that though he personally suspects that students will face no danger, all administrators will be very mindful of the increased precautions.

“I’m not personally worried about anything I’ve heard or read,” he said. “That still doesn’t affect how seriously I’ll take it.”

According to Raisor, extracurricular activities on Friday will continue as scheduled, and he noted that the threat did not mention after-school activities.

Raisor also said that schools will not be searched additionally, unless unusual activity comes to the attention of administrators.

In a tweet, a JCPS spokesperson indicated that Manual students with classes at the Youth Performing Arts School will be permitted to enter and leave the building as they usually would, with staff “supervis[ing] doors and traffic.”

Raisor said that parents must ultimately make the decision about whether or not to send their children to school on Friday, though student absences will be excused at the discretion of individual school principals, and will not be pardoned for the district as a whole.

Kuhn said that the school will be “using our normal attendance policy” on Friday.

JCPS Superintendent Ms. Donna Hargens sent the following message to all JCPS principals on Thursday afternoon:


Please print the notice below and send a copy home with all students today; if you use the One Call Now system, you may choose to distribute the message that way as well.  As noted below, given the nature of the information we have, JCPS will operate school as normal tomorrow (including after school activities), but on a heightened security level.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are notifying you that LMPD has received a nonspecific threat for Friday, Jan. 8, against unnamed schools – the report didn’t specify whether the schools were public or private. This appears to be another in a series of threats being reported to educational institutions across the country recently. JCPS safety protocol dictates that we operate all schools on a normal schedule but at a heightened level of security (Level 3).  Therefore, exterior doors to your child’s school will be locked at all times, outside activities will be cancelled and hallway traffic will minimized and monitored on Friday.  If there is any reason to believe that additional security measures should be taken, we will notify you through our One Call Now system and through local media.  Please be assured that, at JCPS, safety is our highest priority and that our schools work closely with our internal security team and state and federal security experts to ensure your students’ well-being every day, including on Friday.