Marshall County receives $600K federal grant for school security

Trent Lovett

The Marshall County School Board will receive $600,000 in grant money for additional security upgrades two years after the school shooting that claimed the lives of two students.

Gov. Andy Beshear and Mary Noble, Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet secretary and a retired state Supreme Court justice, announced the funding would be awarded under the federal Victims of Crime Act.

“We’re thankful and it’s going to be a big plus for us, and we continue to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Marshall Superintendent Trent Lovett said. He said security priorities will be a camera system and exterior door improvements at Marshall County High School.

Prior Victims of Crime Act funds launched the Marshall Strong Recovery Project, which paid for two mental health therapists at MCHS that offered free counseling for students and staff.

The therapists continue to provide counseling and crisis intervention during COVID-19 via telehealth.

“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,” Beshear said.

“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.”

Noble said, “Mental health therapists are vital to all survivors, so that they can truly heal, recover and restore their lives stronger than ever before.”

Bailey Nicole Holt and Preston Ryan Cope, both 15, were killed in the January 2018 shooting. Fourteen others sustained gunshot wounds, with a further four injured.

The alleged shooter, who was a student at the school, is scheduled for a June 1 jury trial in Christian County.