MT. WASHINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) – With his twin sons who were injured in the Jan. 23 shooting at Marshall County High School sitting nearby, Scott Cosner urged Bullitt East High School students to seek help from family, friends or counselors if they ever feel hopeless and be kind to those who might be struggling.

Rather than hold a 17-minute walkout like other schools across the country in honor of shooting victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as part of National School Walkout Day on Wednesday, Bullitt East invited Cosner to speak to an assembly of hundreds of students.

While many have focused on measures like stricter gun regulations and arming teachers in response to the recent shootings, Cosner said students shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help or offer it to those in need.

“You never know when you’re talking to people or your friends what a kind word would mean to someone,” said Cosner, a Bullitt East graduate. “You never know what’s going through someone’s thoughts and mind, so when you come in and you see someone that’s having a bad day, encourage that person. You don’t know what they’re going through.”

“Our society isn’t what it needs to be,” he added. “We’ve got a heart problem. We don’t have a gun problem.”

Cosner’s primary message to students was that they and others matter, he said. He’d like to see kids and teenagers spend more time with their friends and family than scrolling through social media apps on their phones.

He also said there’s no way to completely ensure that schools will be safe, noting that MCHS has taken steps to secure entryways and check students with handheld metal detectors before they enter the school.

“There are steps that need to be taken to eliminate people just coming in schools with firearms or whatever, but you can’t make schools 100 percent safe,” Cosner said.

“You can’t make anywhere in this country 100 percent safe. There’s people out there if they want to do harm, they’re going to do harm whether it’s in the school, in the parking lot, at a ballgame, wherever, but measures do need to be taken at some schools to make them a little bit more secure.”

Cosner’s sons – 16-year-old sophomores Christian and Mason – were among students injured in the Marshall County shooting, which left two students dead. Mason was shot and suffered a shattered jaw while Christian was trampled while fleeing.

The twins are getting back into their daily routines, Cosner said.

“They’re both back in school,” he told WDRB News. “They’re both running track again and doing very well.”

Cosner’s appearance was arranged by his longtime friend Darrell Vincent, who teaches engineering in the Bullitt East’s Project Lead The Way program.

Cosner was moved by the opportunity to speak at his former high school and said he planned to meet with friends from the area for dinner before heading home with his family.

“Words can’t describe the feeling that they would do something like this for our family and our community,” he said.

Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.