LMPD & DEP Host Ride-Along Professional Development

4:53 PM JCPS DEP 0 Comments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- School may be out for JCPS students Friday, but class was in session for some teachers.

"I thought that this would be a good opportunity to get to find out more about our homeless population and how we can better serve them," said Cindy Hardin, a preschool teacher. "I hope that it gives me some more information to better serve the children."

Hardin is one of roughly 30 teachers who got to ride along with LMPD School Resource Officers to learn more about the communities their students come from and the issues they may be dealing with.

"I think they are going to learn that you know some of these children are dealing with homelessness, and domestic issues and maybe some violence in their neighborhoods and just you know that effects the way they learn. So, you know, if they haven't had anything to eat or if they are coming from a violent situation sometimes algebra or something like that might not be the best, the most important thing to them at that time, so I think it’s important for them to learn that," said LMPD Sgt. Jeff Artman.

"It’s a very innovative way of providing support for our teachers and our staff. Basically, it came from the idea that we have to educate the whole student. We have teachers and anyone working in direct contact with students and helping them with their education they need to understand where our students are coming from, they need to understand their community, the barriers that they face, they also need to understand that there is value in every single community," said Giselle Danger, Coordinator for Homeless Education at JCPS.

School Resource Officer Paul Hixon who works at Westport Middle let us ride along with him, explaining why he thinks this training is important.
"Hopefully the teachers will be able to see some of this and understand then that there is a reason that maybe this person seems a little tired in school all day, it’s because they weren't able to get a night's sleep the night before or why their clothes look so disheveled or you know it appears like they hadn't taken a bath in two days or three days, or whatever, it’s because they don’t have the facilities to do that," said Hixon.