For Chardon High School students today was just another Monday, until an Ohio shooting took place in their cafeteria by one of their students. Other students have identified the shooter as T.J. Lane; however, authorities have not yet confirmed the name of the suspect. According to students who were in the cafeteria, Lane walked up to a table and opened fire and then ran. A brave teacher named Frank Hall, reportedly chased the shooter out of the school before more students were injured. As of Monday afternoon, one student was reported dead and four others were taken to the hospital with two being in critical condition.
As details continue to emerge, many people are wondering if the signs were there and if this Ohio shooting could have been prevented. Just last week a young mother and her baby were killed in Cleveland, Ohio, not far from Chardon. They were killed by the estranged boyfriend who had arrest warrants in New York. The signs were there that he was dangerous and yet he found them and took their lives and then his own. Although some people claim that they are shocked that Lane would have committed this shooting others say there were signs and this could have been prevented. On a recent Facebook rant, T.J. ended his comments with, “Die, all of you.” He also reportedly had a sad look in his eyes lately but still talked and acted normal. Were the small signs overlooked? Can friends and school officials really keep a close eye on every student and know for sure when a student may be ready to hurt other students? Another question that many are wondering is how students are still getting into schools with guns? Thirteen years after the Columbine tragedy, school shootings are still occurring. So who is to blame? Should parents be responsible for seeing the signs or should it fall on school staff?
In most school shootings authorities have shown that some signs were there before the shooting. So will authorities in the Ohio shooting also tell this shaken community that the signs were there and it could have been prevented? It is too early to say yet, but as more students are interviewed, the events leading to the shooting will be revealed. In the meantime, this small community will be comforting each other as they sadly realize that even small towns are no longer immune from the horrors that were thought to only happen at larger schools.
This photo is an Associated Press Photo by Tony Dejak which shows authorities surrounding Charon High School in Ohio.