Kentucky educations leaders speak about Texas shooting

Posted at 11:43 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 23:52:06-04

(LEX 18) — Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas, led to the loss of 19 children and 2 teachers.

Communities across the country are reflecting on the school shooting in Texas.

Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner, Dr. Jason Glass, says, "Well I think just like everyone else I’m processing through it as a person and as a parent."

Education leaders in the Commonwealth are speaking about current school protections in Kentucky - including physical barriers, resource officers, student and staff training, and mental health support.

Dr. Glass is asking, "What can we learn from this situation? What systems worked? What systems failed? And what can we carry forward to reduce the probability that this happens again?"

Four years ago, Marshall County High School experienced an incident with a school shooter. A 15-year-old student opened fire, killing two students, and injuring 18 more.

After that shooting one Marshal County High School alum shared, "Just disbelief, how could this happen in Marshall County? How could this happen in such a quiet little Mayberry-ish community?"

Another high school student shared, "He [the shooter] seemed really nice and my friend told him that, it didn't seem like he got bullied or anything, like, he didn't really have a motive to do it."

Nearly 30 years ago – another school shooting at East Carter High School in Grayson. Accounts say a 17-year-old fatally shot his teacher and a custodian. He held his classmates in a room before eventually surrendering to the police.

After this incident - one of the victim's sisters spoke out, she said, “We choose to not live in the past, but live the future that she would want us to."

Now, Kentucky Department of Education leaders say more conversations on limitations to firearms should be had.

"Maybe this will be the time...that there's an honest conversation around some limitations, reasonable limitations on access to firearms. When you look at the incidents of gun violence and gun homicides in the United States compared to all other civilized countries, it's clear that there's something going on here that related to the availability of guns,” says Dr. Glass.

Dr. Glass says after the school shooting in Marshall County, Kentucky legislators did take steps to increase school safety requiring a resource officer to be present on every campus. He also added that now that legislation needs to be taken a step further getting more funding and training for those officers.