Shooting in Chardon, Huntley’s response


Joe Cristo

Map of Chardon, Ohio (Courtesy of MCT Campus).

On February 27, 2012, Chardon High School in Ohio experienced a school shooting.

Five students were victims.

Three students were casualties.

The alleged shooter, Thomas “TJ” Lane, began opening fire on a group of students during the “unstructured” time before school.

Daniel Parmertor, 17, Russell King Jr., 17, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, were all casualties from the event.

What happened in Ohio has brought these types of issues to the forefront of school administrators’ concerns: how to deal with unstructured time and the balance between safe and free.

“We want to be a place where they can interact,” said principal Dave Johnson. “But more importantly we need to hold people accountable.”

Many administrators around the country have the same issue: how does an administration balance between having students’ safe but keeping their rights.

“We have to be sure we can be a safe and open campus,” said Johnson. “We don’t want to be a jail or an airport. But we still need to be safe, and that is a tough thing to balance.”

Nonetheless, Huntley seems prepared for a situation like this.

“Unstructured time certainly brings more dangerous potential outcomes,” said Johnson. “But we have systems in place to avoid things like this.”

A lot of this preparation comes from the responsibly of Huntley’s student body as well.

“Students are the best eyes and ears in the school,” said Johnson. “And I think that we have students, out of generous and caring attitudes, that will do the right thing for themselves and others.”

Johnson is not the only administrator that shows complete faith in Huntley’s ability to deal with such an issue.

“We have plenty of lockdown procedures in place,” said dean Don Hantson. “Overall, I would say that Huntley is pretty well prepared.”