Geauga County community comes together as solemn anniversary approaches.
(Geauga County) - Chardon leaders say healing continues but students will be forever affected by the tragic shootings that took place one year ago.
They held a press conference at the Geauga County Library Administrative Center to reflect about the past and to think about the future.
Chardon Schools Superintendent Joseph Bergant began the session with a moment of silence for victims Demetrius Hewlin, Daniel Parmertor and Russell King Jr.
He also rejected any suggestion that teachers be armed, or that concealed weapons be allowed inside the schools.
Students Will Porter, Jessica Mysyk, and Jill Allenby all said the events of February 27, 2012 have brought everyone closer together. They contend students are more unified and caring. They have designated February 27, 2013 as a day of service as their way of honoring the victims.
Jennifer Deckard of the Chardon Healing Fund announced that $952,000 has been donated to help those in the community to recover. Donations came from as far away as California and Maine. Even Columbine families sent money.
Deckard says $417,000 went to the six families directly impacted by the tragedy to help pay bills or make home modifications. Money has also been used for grief and trauma recovery of students and staff, future behavioral healthcare, the hiring of a school resource officer, and trauma care training for 9 professionals.
Chardon Mayor Philip King says a permanent memorial is being planned, but they want to be well thought out. They are allowing a 1-to-2 year process to decide on details.
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