Morgan Security Services is suing Jefferson County Public Schools over claims that the district violated a signed contract the two parties entered into back in September 2019.
Earlier this month, Morgan Security Services decided to sue Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky’s largest school district over allegations of breach of contract. The suit was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court back on February 7. The company itself describes itself as a “licensed security agency that provides security officers and off-duty police officers for comprehensive protection of clients and properties against all kinds of threats.”
Why was the suit filed, though? For starters, when commenting on the suit, Thomas Clay said, “I think there was some implication that corrections officers might imply that students were in custody or some kind of correctional treatment or something of that nature that was negative.” Clay is the attorney representing Morgan Security Services. According to the lawsuit, the district and Morgan Security Services entered into a contract from September 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020 “contract in which the security company would provide off-duty police and corrections officers to enforce security at JCPS schools.” The hourly rate for the officers was set at $39.50 per hour.
However, on August 12, 2019, JCPS told the company that “the Board and the Superintendent have decided that they don’t want correction officers working in schools with students” for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, the suit alleges that back on September 9, 2019, Morgan Security Services was told that “corrections officers will not be assigned to any school during school hours until further notice. Only POPS certified officers can work in a school.” POPS stands for Peace Officer Professional Standards. What was the reason behind the district’s decision? Well, Michael Newman, principal of Western High School, told the company “the school would no longer be using their services due to, the inability to provide the officers I have requested, every day, preferably the same officer or two…We will no longer need Morgan Security’s Services.”
As a result, the company claims the “terms of the agreed-upon contract were violated” and is demanding compensatory damages along with a jury trial.
The district originally decided to seek the services provided by Morgan Security Services after the Jefferson County Board of Education failed to approve contracts with the Jeffersontown Police Department, the Shively Police Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to provide 11 school resource officers. As a result, district officials agreed to look into recruiting “its own internal security force. It should be noted that the Kentucky legislature “legislature recently passed legislation that would force school security officers to be armed.”