Ourview: Reflecting on Chardon

DKS Staff

T.J. Lane, the accused Chardon High School shooter, pleaded guilty in court Tuesday for the deaths of those three students approximately one year ago. If he is convicted, he will face life in prison without parole.

Many people across the state seemed to stop what they were doing that week to mourn the loss of Daniel Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin and Russell King Jr. People decked out in red, white and black clothing —Chardon High School colors—to honor the Chardon community.

Almost everyone in the Northeast Ohio area had some kind of connection to what happened at the high school. Many Kent State University students had relatives, friends and former classmates who had experienced the shooting that day.

Chardon is also a small town of only about 5,000 residents, and with the whole nation looking toward it, many realized and reflected on how this sort of event can happen in any town—not just big cities.

Kent State had its own reflections on the tragedy: To Write Love on Her Arms UChapter at Kent State hosted a candlelight vigil in response to the shooting; about 100 students attended to support each other and to talk about what had happened. The rock on campus was painted red and black to honor the students at Chardon High School. Several Kent State students went to the funerals of the students who died in the shooting.

Although the Chardon High School shooting was tragic, it brought together a handful of communities in Northeast Ohio. It was amazing to watch people from all across the state gather in Chardon to remember the students who died and to comfort those in the town who were mourning. People were more aware of what was going on, and everyone seemed to look out for one another.

This should not just happen in the aftermath of a tragedy; it should be happening all the time. These sorts of incidents cannot always be prevented, but we can try to be closer to each other every day. We should not neglect meeting with our friends, neighbors and loved ones because that helps to build a stronger community.