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Pollio: Poverty, homelessness to blame for gun violence impacting kids

JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio applauded district teachers for their constant work of...
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio applauded district teachers for their constant work of providing “a safe, healthy learning environment” for students.(Youtube: JCPS)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Jefferson County Public Schools bus stop was the site of an early morning drive-by shooting in Russell that killed an Eastern High School student and injured a girl, 14, and another boy, 13, as they waited to go to school on Sept. 21.

The student killed was 16-year-old Tyree Smith, a junior at Eastern High School.

No arrests have been made in connection to Smith’s death.

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Days after Smith’s murder, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio extended his deep condolences to the teen’s family.

Louisville is plagued with poverty, homelessness, a lack of job training and “many more challenges” that contribute to rising gun violence, Pollio said, which does not just impact kids and families within JCPS.

“There is far too much gun violence in our community, and children are dying from it,” the superintendent said. “All of us at JCPS must work together to ensure our students’ success, and if we lose children to senseless acts before graduation, we cannot assist them. ... It’s a communitywide problem. That’s why our work is so important at JCPS.”

To help JCPS students become productive citizens, Pollio said the district will continue to work with local organizations to engage students at school and at other community events. He also applauded district teachers for their constant work of providing “a safe, healthy learning environment” for students.

“You may not realize it, but you’re a lighthouse to many of our students,” he said. “A beacon of light in their lives when they come to school.”

Watch Pollio’s address below.

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