One Year Later: Chardon principal talks arming teachers and San - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

One Year Later: Chardon principal talks arming teachers and Sandy Hook shooting


CHARDON, Ohio - In about three weeks, the community of Chardon will be marking the one year anniversary of the fatal shootings at the high school that left three students dead.

Chardon's principal says the days following the tragedy were a blur.

A community was left to bury three boys and try to move on.

The principal at Chardon High School recalls the outpouring of support one year later and says it was mind blowing.

"It certainly renews your faith. You sit back and go through this horrific tragedy and you ask why would innocent children's lives be lost. But when people come out of the woodwork like they did to show their support, it really reminds you that one situation can't overcome the vastness of people willing to help," said Chardon High School Principal Andy Fetchik.

President Obama called and Governor Kasich visited.

The trees in Chardon are still decorated to remember the victims. There are still wreaths up in front of the school and reminders inside the school as well.

The town will never forget the tragedy, but decided to become pro-active and look ahead.

"We focused on not letting this event define us. Chardon High School has had a long history and its going to have a future going forward and our future going forward is going to be defined by what we want it to be," Fetchik said.

Chardon has a police officer in the building now and Fetchik feels like that's the answer to the violence, not teachers with guns in the classroom.

"He [the police officer] has been trained to shoot. He knows that if he pulls his weapon and he needs to use it, he knows that there is going to be a process afterwards. He understands that taking a life isn't something you do arbitrarily. So he's prepared to deal with that. I don't know if I could ever pull the trigger on another human being and that's my biggest fear," Fetchik said.

Meanwhile, the kids seemed to have turned the page until tragedy struck again, this time at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.

"You see the FBI and the BCI folks and it brings you back. And unfortunately every one of those events we have, as forward as we have come with our students, I know those kids take a step back and they have to re-live that moment and that's what's disheartening," Fetchik said.

But still, it's human nature to look back and feel sad or even mad at the events of February 27th.

"We had some moments of anger. I still feel a little bit. Again, he's a child. So it's difficult to be angry at him. I'm angry at the event, I'm angry at what it did to our students, how it changed our lives. But I'm also very optimistic to the future to see the way these kids respond," Fetchik said.

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