JCPS cancels school; teachers return to Frankfort


Protesters show up in masses at the steps of the Capital in Frankfort, Kentucky. Photo by Cicada Hoyt.

Jade Broderick

Thousands of JCPS teachers, public employees, and their supporters protested in Frankfort on Friday for the second time in two weeks as the Kentucky legislature considered overriding Governor Bevin’s veto of the proposed state budget.

Students and teachers offer policy solutions on school funding. Photo by Cicada Hoyt.

Several hours after Thursday’s school wide walk in, JCPS announced that school would be cancelled on Friday, enabling teachers and students alike to travel to Frankfort on what would normally be a school day. 

On Tuesday night Bevin signed SB 151, which affects pension benefits for new teachers.

“I think all students deserve the opportunity for free public education,”  Lansdowne Elementary School Principal Jennifer Fish said. “And when we start under funding and de-funding that we’re hurting the future of this commonwealth and actually country.”

At the rally

Many teachers, retirees, students, parents and supporters traveled from all different parts of the state to come to the rally.

“It’s awesome to see people that are here and with us and standing with us, it’s great to have power in numbers,” Sadie Lawrence (10, MST) said. “For the people who aren’t here, it’s so empowering to come [to Frankfort] and feel so strong that you are making a difference even though a lot of the time it doesn’t feel like that.”

duPont Manual grad Abby DeWeese (2010, CMA) currently works as a JCPS middle school teacher. 

“I am here to stand up for public education with fellow teachers,” said DeWeese. “I came to stand for our benefits, our funding, but more than that for the funding and education for our kids because that’s who we really do everything for and who we’re really here for.”

On March 31, JCPS and dozens of other school districts closed due to a wildcat sickout, and three days later teachers traveled to Frankfort to protest in and outside the state capitol building.

Activists encouraged people to register to vote, give speeches and chant along with the crowd during the protest.

Manual junior Arianna Moya (11, J&C) said, “I think that this rally is one of many that is going to make sure that student and teacher voices will be heard throughout Kentucky.”

Although capitol security officers were only admitting limited numbers of people due to the legislature being in session, protesters waited in line for hours to get in and make their voices heard.

Bevin’s accusations

The state senate ended up overriding Bevin’s veto of the state budget by a vote of 25-12. As the protests wound down, Bevin claimed that the teachers’ protest led to children being sexually assaulted.