school shootings

Taylor Inman

Survivors of gun violence in west Kentucky led protests against the Friday visit of National Rifle Association leader Oliver North to a Republican rally at Murray State University.

Oliver North was invited by the Marshall and Calloway County Republican parties as the featured speaker for their ‘Night Before Fancy Farm’ event. The invitation of North to speak at a local GOP rally sparked an uproar from a community that experienced a deadly school shooting less than seven months ago.

North is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel and in May was named the next president of the NRA. He is also infamous for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Nicole Erwin

Gun rights and gun violence have dominated national and regional headlines this year, following several shootings, including the deadly shooting last January at Marshall County High School in west Kentucky.

Now, as 3-D printed guns could potentially upend the national conversation, and as the president of the National Rifle Association visits the region on Friday, the Paducah/west Kentucky chapter of the nonpartisan group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America is looking to build consensus on gun safety. Christa Dubrock is the group's Local Lead for Paducah. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

Experts told Kentucky lawmakers that gun violence needs to be addressed as a public health crisis, advising that they consider legislation that would require gun owners to lock up their firearms.

A legislative committee heard testimony on Wednesday about how gun violence impacts young people across the state and country. The meeting came after a string of school shootings across the country earlier this year, including an incident at Marshall County High School that killed two 15 year-olds.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin says in order to put an end to school shootings, parents need to stop over-medicating their children and steer them away from cell phones and violent video games.

The governor’s comments came during a listening session hosted by the Federal Commission on School Safety, which was created by President Trump earlier this year.

Fons Cervera

Federal education officials will be in Lexington on Tuesday to hear recommendations about how to make schools safer.

The listening session will be the second meeting of the Federal Commission on School Safety, which was created by President Trump after the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 14 people dead.

The Parkland shooting took place just weeks after the January shooting at Marshall County High School that killed two.

Creative Commons

State lawmakers on Monday heard recommendations about how to how to make Kentucky schools safer in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marshall County High School earlier this year and similar tragedies across the country.

A group of school safety experts shied away from controversial policies like arming teachers or new gun regulations, instead advising that schools improve security, hire more school resource officers and find new ways to detect and prevent possible shootings.

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a small-town Texas high school, in what Gov. Greg Abbott called "probably the worst disaster ever to strike this community."

Ten others were wounded in the morning attack at Santa Fe High School.

Wikimedia Commons, Ichabod

Allen County schools will now have a school resource officer for each of its four schools after the Board of Education decided to hire two additional officers.

 

Previously Allen County schools had two resource officers, who were splitting their time between the schools. Assistant Superintendent of Operations Brian Carter said the district decided to add the new officers because of the recent school shootings at Marshall County High School in western Kentucky and Parkland, Florida.

Deep In Gun Country, Students Speak Out On Gun Violence

Mar 26, 2018
Nicole Erwin

Gun culture runs deep in much of the Ohio Valley, where hunting is a revered tradition and the majority of state lawmakers in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia boast “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association.

But even here the growing national student activism on gun safety is taking hold in the wake of recent school shootings. With some three dozen events in the region coinciding with the national March For Our Lives protest, more students from the region are deciding to speak out.

The Ohio Valley ReSource sampled some student viewpoints from around the region.


Students Push As Lawmakers Ponder Gun Safety Bills

Mar 17, 2018
Nicole Erwin

In a recently released court video, Capt. Matt Hilbrecht of the Marshall County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s office testifies about his interrogation of Gabriel Parker, the 15-year-old accused of a mass shooting at Marshall County High School in January.

“We asked him initially when he had the thought of the school shooting,” Hilbrecht begins as he describes the events leading up to the shooting. The recording was released because Parker is being tried as an adult.

Hilbrecht explains how Parker got the 9mm pistol he would use to kill two teens and injure 17 others: Parker found it in his parents’ closet.


Ryland Barton

Students from across Kentucky traveled to the state Capitol to rally against gun violence as part of demonstrations that took place across the country on Wednesday.

More than 40 students from Marshall County High School made the three-and-a-half hour trip to Frankfort.

Marshall County Junior Leighton Solomon was one of several students to speak at the rally. She called on lawmakers to put politics aside and come up with solutions to school violence.

Nicole Erwin

In the wake of the January shooting at Marshall County High School, Kentucky lawmakers have advanced a bill that would require schools to employ mental health professionals to recognize symptoms of trauma in students.

Rep. Will Coursey, a Democrat from Symsonia whose district includes the high school, said the bill was “born out of tragedy.”

“But we firmly believe that if implemented, this piece of legislation would certainly spare us tragedy in the future,” Coursey said.

Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

A school safety expert told state lawmakers Thursday there’s “no way” arming teachers would make schools safer in the wake of the mass shooting at Marshall County High School.

The Kentucky House and Senate Education committees held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss school safety issues, though no specific pieces of legislation were up for a vote.

President Trump, Gov. Matt Bevin and some Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly have called for allowing teachers to have access to guns on campus in order to defend students against school shooters.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin says current gun and murder laws didn’t discourage recent school shootings, so people shouldn’t look to gun restrictions to prevent future mass shootings.

“What other law would a child who’s willing to break those three laws have obeyed that would have precluded something like this from happening,” Bevin said during an interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

Nicole Erwin

In the wake of school shootings in Kentucky and Florida, a rash of copycat school threats throughout the Ohio Valley left law enforcement and school officials grappling with how to improve security. A school counseling expert says it’s useful to look at the potential school shootings that did not happen. His research focuses on how schools have successfully averted shooting incidents.

Culture of Dignity

Dr. Jeff Daniels, Chair of West Virginia University’s counseling department, interviewed school personnel and law enforcement officers who were able to prevent imminent school shootings.


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