FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18)– School districts across Kentucky took steps to improve school security after the Marshall County High shooting in 2018. Some lawmakers say that it’s not enough and they’re hoping to pass a school safety bill this year.
Typically, when lawmakers are talking about a new bill, there are many back and forth moments and things even get tense at times, but when Preston Cope and Bailey Holt’s parents spoke about losing their kids in the school shooting, you could hear a pin drop in the room.
“I had no idea that that morning when I kissed her ‘bye,’ it would be my last,” said Secret Holt, Bailey Holt’s mom.
Bailey and Preston’s parents want to make sure that no one else has to go through what they did. Police say that on January 23, 2018, Gabe Parker, who was 15 at the time, opened fire at Marshall County High School, killing 15-year-old Bailey and 15-year-old Preston.
“I relive it every day, January 23rd,” said Jasen Holt, Bailey’s dad.
The Holts and the Copes testified in front of the education committee Thursday, supporting Senate Bill One (SB 1) a school safety bill which calls for more officers in schools, more counselors, and better security.
“We have to be Preston and Bailey’s voice. They’re not here, they’re here with us in spirit, but we have to be their voice. We have to do this,” said Preston’s dad, Brian Cope.
Lawmakers say that SB 1 is their top priority this legislative session.