The family of Jacob Hall, the 6-year-old who was fatally wounded in the Townville Elementary School shooting, will be pursuing a state law in his honor, his aunt told the Independent Mail on Thursday.
Rebecca Hunnicutt said her family will push for the establishment of “Jacob’s Law,” which would require that armed officers be placed in all South Carolina schools.
“There needs (to be) a minimum number of armed officers per a certain number of students in our schools,” Hunnicutt said. “Our kids need to be protected. They need to be safe. We need to make it mandatory. We can’t bring Jacob back, but there is a world of children left to protect. Jacob’s death cannot be in vain.”
A 14-year-old is charged in the school shooting. The teen is accused of killing his father, 47-year-old Jeffrey Osborne, in their Townville home Sept. 28, then taking his truck to the school about three miles away. Investigators say the teen opened fire at the school, wounding two 6-year-old students, hurting a third student, and shooting a first-grade teacher. Jacob died of his injuries Oct. 1.
It’s not yet clear if the Hall family is working with a specific legislator on the issue. Neither Anderson-area legislators nor their opponents in November races said they had been contacted by the family.
The cost of putting armed officers in all South Carolina schools is unknown. Most high schools and many middle schools already have officers stationed there.
There is already one South Carolina law that is known as “Jacob’s Law.” That law sets school bus safety standards. It is named for Jacob Strebler, who was fatally injured in 1994 in a van that did not meet bus safety standards.
ROAD NAMED AFTER JACOB
A state highway panel voted Thursday morning to name a road in honor of Jacob Hall, the 6-year-old mortally wounded last month in a shooting at Townville Elementary School.
The intersection of Interstate 85 and S.C. 24 in Anderson County will be called the Jacob L. Hall Memorial Interchange.
Rebecca Hunnicutt, Jacob’s aunt, said her family was surprised and honored to learn about the measure.
“They took our boy’s name and are going to make sure it lives on forever,” she said. “People are going to remember Jacob, and not just for this tragedy, but for the light that his life brought into the world. We are so honored that our state sees Jacob as a hero.”
The South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission approved the measure unanimously at a meeting in Columbia. The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Ben Davis, who represents Anderson County and several others in the Upstate on the state highway panel.