My wife told me about the shooting at Chardon High School in Chardon, OH this morning. It seems unreal to us that the high school in the community we lived during my first youth pastorate and where our first daughter was born would see this type of violence.
Nonetheless, school violence occurs even in small town Ohio – even in quaint towns like Chardon.
An Ohio teen described as a “outcast” is suspected of opening fire on his classmates Monday at an Ohio high school, killing one student and wounding four others.
Witnesses say the gunman targeted a group of students in the school’s cafeteria before reportedly being chased from the building by a teacher and apprehended by authorities about a half a mile away from Chardon High School.
Authorities identified the suspected gunman as a student at the school. Police have not released the juvenile’s name because he has not been charged yet.
Law enforcement officials described the suspect as a “victim of bullying” and an “outcast.” FBI officials would not comment on a motive.
Two of the male shooting victims are in critical condition, another male is in serious condition and one female is in stable condition, according to the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office.
The deceased student was identified by a hospital spokeswoman as Daniel Parmertor. His family released a statement through MetroHealth System spokeswoman Shannon Mortland.
The perpetrator was bullied. This is a poignant reminder for me that we need to encourage kids in our youth groups that they must, must be on the front lines loving the unlovable. If this young person had somebody who stood up for them and loved them as Jesus does would it have made a difference?
I think so. By the way if you have not read Risk in Our Midst: Empower Teenagers to Love the Unlovable by my friend Scott Larson you really, really should. He addresses this very topic. Kids who are bullied are virtual power kegs.
In the meantime we need to pray for these kids and pray for the town of Chardon, OH.