CHARDON, Ohio– Several years after a teenage gunman opened fire inside Chardon High School killing three students– administrators, coaches and parents who were there that day begin working to stop school shootings once and for all.
Former Chardon football coach Frank Hall started ‘The Coach Hall Foundation’ with four friends who were there that morning.
Their mission statement is to “Provide effective means to prevent against school violence and improve the quality of life in our school communities.”
Hall became a reluctant hero after chasing gunman T.J. Lane from the building that morning.
He still refuses to take credit for his actions, but is determined to keep other kids safe.
“We need to do something to give back to the people who helped us through our tragedy,” said Hall.
The foundation is preparing for a large School Safety Summit on October 16 in Chardon at the middle school, but their goals extend far beyond this one district.
They want to influence lawmakers and work to get a School Resource Officer, or SRO inside every school building across the country.
“One common denominator of safe schools has been a school resource officer,” said Chardon Principal Andrew Fetchik.
Mr. Fetchik said the SRO has been extremely beneficial in their district because the police officer not only provides a sense of security, but they interact with students in a meaningful way starting at the elementary level and continue focusing on intervention and prevention through high school.
“We’ve seen it work so well here; we know it can work elsewhere,” said Chardon Wrestling Coach Tim Armelli.
The foundation is a non profit 501c3 organization working with people from other school districts that have experienced deadly shootings including Columbine and Sandy Hook. Board members hope people will hear their mission and support their cause so that no other school has to experience what they did.
Even as they met Thursday night, their thoughts turned to Oregon where a man opened fire on a community college campus. Board members said if they can identify troubled youths early and get them help, tragedies like this will finally stop happening.
“It has to stop,” said Athletic Director Doug Snyder. “At some point it has to stop.”
“We spend more on defense than all nations combined,” added Coach Frank Hall. “We can find the money to get it done.”
More on The Coach Hall Foundation here.
Article originally appeared on fox8.com OCTOBER 1, 2015, BY SUZANNE STRATFORD
Link: Fox8 and The Coach Hall Foundation