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Marshall County Board of Education Awarded     More Than $600,000 to Help Survivors

Marshall County Board of Education Awarded More Than $600,000 to Help Survivors

Bill Stephens

April 10th, 2020

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Federal Victims of Crime Act Awarded to Install Security Upgrades

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 9, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear and Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary and retired Justice Mary Noble announced today that the Marshall County Board of Education has been awarded more than $600,000 in supplemental funding under the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

This supplemental award of $621,176 will be used to purchase and install a comprehensive security camera system and make essential security upgrades to the entries at Marshall County High School. These additional funds are from the VOCA grant KY received in FY2018.

“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,” said Gov. Beshear. “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.”

The Governor said VOCA is the only federal grant program supporting direct assistance services to victims and survivors of all types of crimes. The primary purpose of the VOCA grant program is to extend and enhance services to survivors of violent crime.

Previous VOCA grant awards were used to launch the Marshall Strong Recovery Project. The district also used grant funding to hire a program director and two mental health therapists for Marshall County High School. They have been available on-site to provide cost-free counseling services for students and staff. During the COVID-19 State of Emergency, they continue to provide counseling and crisis intervention services via telehealth.

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

Additionally, grant funding also was awarded to the 42nd Judicial Circuit Victim Advocacy Project. Prosecuting the suspect in the Marshall County High School shooting will require an unprecedented level of victim advocacy in the 42nd Judicial Circuit. The 42nd Judicial Circuit is being supported in this challenging task by the Office for Victim Advocacy at the Attorney General’s Office, also a VOCA-supported project.

On Jan. 23, 2018, a gunman opened fire inside Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. Two students were killed while 14 others were shot and four more were injured. Countless others among the 1,350 enrolled students and their families, teachers and school staff members, as well as first responders, law enforcement and medical staff remain deeply affected.

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