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The Commonwealth

Kentucky education commissioner: In the wake of the Texas school shooting more mental health care is needed

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Kentucky Department of Education
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Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass

Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass says his processing of the mass murder of school children in Texas has him heartbroken and angry. 19 elementary-aged children and two teachers were killed in the attack.

Glass spent time as the superintendent of the Jeffco School District in Colorado. He said Columbine High School is in that district where the 1999 school shooting is often referred to as the beginning of the trend.

“So, I can tell you from that first-hand experience that wound never heals completely in the community. You never completely get over that loss of life and I think the educators and people who live in

Marshall County here in Kentucky can attest to that as well,” said Glass.

A January 2018 school shooting at Marshall County High School took the lives of two students and injured 14 others. Glass said the resulting legislation in 2019 included provisions on physical security, both structure and personnel, mental health intervention, and in-house safety drills.

He said the review will see if there are familiar patterns or new elements to the recent elementary school shooting. Glass noted more mental health intervention is always an objective.

“If someone is exhibiting threatening behavior, that’s documented, and actions are taken. Now, that by itself is no guarantee as we saw in the recent Buffalo shooting. That person was on the radar as a potential threat and then fell through the cracks,” said Glass.

Glass said the proliferation of guns in American society is a problem and bad things can happen. Listen for more with Jason Glass Thursday on Today’s Interview at 7:50 and 5:50 on-air at Weku.

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