Following 2018 Shooting, Kentucky School District Receives $620,000 Grant For Security Improvements
Marshall County High School, the site of a shooting that killed two students in 2018, has since received hundreds of thousands in grants for security systems and mental health therapists.
- By Haley Samsel
- April 14, 2020
A Kentucky high school that was the site of a fatal shooting in 2018 will receive more than $620,000 in grant money to install a security camera system and upgrade its facilities, according to state justice and public safety officials.
The Marshall County Board of Education received the funding from a federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant distributed through the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, The Louisville Courier Journal reported. The Jan. 23, 2018 shooting near Benton took the lives of two students and injured 18 others in the school, causing deep wounds within the close-knit community of just over 31,000 people.
“We will never forget the tragedy in Marshall County and we will continue to do everything we can to honor those we lost, support the community and protect our students and educators,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in an announcement on Thursday.
He added: “We are grateful the Marshall County Board of Education received this critically important grant. With these additional funds, the Board will be able to make the improvements necessary to further support the emotional, psychological and physical safety and security of each survivor, student and educator.”
Grant funding was also awarded to the 42nd Judicial Circuit Victim Advocacy Project, which will prosecute the alleged gunman who was a student at Marshall County High at the time of the shooting. The suspect has pleaded not guilty and will stand trial on murder and assault charges starting on June 1, according to the Courier Journal. (Defense attorneys and prosecutors say the trial will likely be delayed to coronavirus concerns, WKMS reported).
The school district has previously received grants to launch its “Marshall Strong Recovery Project” and hire mental health therapists at Marshall County High School, where the shooting took place. Cost-free counseling services have been available for students and staff since then, including telehealth sessions during school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools across Kentucky will also receive a share of $18.2 million set aside for security improvements after the state legislature passed a school safety law in 2019 -- the result of advocacy efforts after the deadly shooting in Marshall County.
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.