It’s little more than a historical footnote now, but Kentucky is the first state in America to host a school shooting. In 1853, William H.G. Butler 28, was murdered in his classroom at the Louisville School—which Butler had helped found—by Matthews Ward, the son of a cotton merchant. Ward was upset because the teacher had whipped Ward’s brother, William, for eating in the classroom.
A school shooting was considered an unimaginable event back in 1853. It’s all too easy to imagine now. According to the list of school shootings compiled by Wikipedia, the number of shootings has grown from three for the entire 1850s to 17 in this year alone, including the shooting at Marshall County High School in which two students were killed and 18 others injured.
In response, local schools have been stepping up security. The Mercer School District is looking to hire more school resource officers.
Burgin Independent School has no dedicated school resource officer and is farther away from both the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and Harrodsburg Police Department. Officials have purchased a wand metal detector and new radios for the bus drivers which school officials and local law enforcement agencies will monitor. School officials are also looking at adding more security cameras and allowing Harrodsburg Dispatch to tap into the system so they can monitor the school.
On Thursday, May 3, school officials, as well as officials from the Harrodsburg Police Department and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will discuss school safety. The program starts at 6 p.m. at Mercer County Senior High School.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.