MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. (WSIL) — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Marshall County High School in Kentucky today to award a grant nearly a year after the school shooting killed two teens and injured 18 others.
The grant is called Project School Emergency Response to Violence and this year the school received $460,000.
"That money can be used in ways that are going to be most useful during your health process," DeVos said.
During Wednesday’s announcement, DeVos praised the community for their strength.
"I am really inspired by your resolve and the determination of this community," DeVos said.
"These dollars will provide resources that help in the healing process," Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said.
On Jan. 23, 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. Gabe Parker, now 16, is charged in the shooting that killed Preston Cope and Bailey Holt, and injured 18 others.
The school used a $138,000 grant they received last year to purchase metal detectors.
Now, there are metal detectors inside every entrance, paid for by a grant called Project School Emergency Response to Violence.
Each day students at the high school must have their belongings checked before walking through the metal detectors and heading off to their first class.
"There’s no amount of words that can ever be said that would somehow make that pain go away," Bevin said.
Superintendent Trent Lovett says this new grant money will go towards paying four resource officers, mental health counselors, and to buy security cameras.
Lovett said he knows that these changes can’t make the pain go away, but hopes the added security can help keep students and staff safe at school.
"The healing process is not a short term fix," Lovett said. "There’s not anything, no amount of money is going to cause us to be healed. On the outside we might look like we are healed, but the healing process is still ongoing and will be for a long time."
The money also helps pay for the Marshall County at home program– a program that allows students who don’t feel safe at school to learn at home. There are still more than 80 students in that program.