A Franklin County High School guidance counselor, arrested on a charge that she brought a handgun to school, denied allegations from school staff that she bragged about bringing the weapon.
Holly Elizabeth Jenkins Lawson had a 9 millimeter handgun in her purse inside the Frankfort school when she was arrested Wednesday , a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office citation said. She was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on school property, a felony punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Franklin County Superintendent Mark Kopp said in a statement that after school hours on Tuesday, district officials received a report that an employee at Franklin County High School may have had a weapon in their possession. The sheriff’s citation said Lawson, a school counselor, had already left the building when school staff contacted Kopp.
Kopp said he met Lawson, 37, when she arrived at school before the start of the school day Wednesday and escorted her immediately to the School Resource Officer’s office.
“We questioned the employee, who admitted to having the weapon,” Kopp said.
The police citation said Lawson acknowledged having the gun in her purse. She said she had gone on “a weekend getaway” with her husband to Owensboro for a Kentucky Derby party with friends, had taken the gun with her and had forgotten to take it out of her purse when she arrived home.
Lawson told police she didn’t recall talking to school staff about bringing the firearm to the school, the citation said. The police citation said that according to the school staff, “Mrs. Lawson has bragged about bringing her firearm to school.”
She consented to an officer reaching inside to the bottom of her purse to retrieve the gun which was secured in a nylon holster, the citation said.
“The employee was then immediately taken into custody and escorted from school property to the Franklin County Sheriff’s office,” Kopp said. “At no time were students or staff in danger.”
The citation said Lawson was suspended during the investigation. Kopp said he couldn’t discuss a pending personnel matter.
Lawson was released from the Franklin County Regional Jail on the same day she was arrested, a staff member there said.
A date for an appearance in Franklin Circuit Court is pending, officials said.
Lawson did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.