All four schools in the Jackson Township, Stark County, area were placed on lockdown after reports emerged of gunshots being fired. Police posted a warning and informed everyone to remain calm, letting parents know their children will soon be released to them and that the emergency services are on the scene. It later emerged that a 7th grade boy shot himself in the boy’s bathroom. He was soon rushed to hospital although his condition is unknown.
One woman described her experiences as she drove her daughter to school. Sarah Larkins has two daughters attending school in the area. One is in the 3rd grade, but the other is in the same school where the incident took place and is in 8th grade.
“I received a phone call from the superintendent that the middle school and high school was on lockdown and all the elementary schools would be closed. I just pulled in waiting to hear further information,” she told reporters. “I just want to get my daughter and hug her and hold her. I thought it would never happen here but obviously, that is not the case.”
Students are being dismissed from class today. School officials are working on getting info out to parents now. pic.twitter.com/HSBkaYUg81— Meg Shaw (@MegDShaw) 20 February 2018
Police have stated that the large scale emergency response was due to caution, and that at the moment there is no further concern about potential loss of life.
Both parents and polce are understandably on edge about the events this morning after the Florida shooting earlier this month where 17 people lost their lives when a former student went on a murder spree. Armed with an AR-15 the young man was able to take a terrible toll, leaving multiple students and teachers dead, along with dozens more injured. The young man, who had frequently voiced his intention for violence on social media platforms, was reported multiple times to the FBI. Yet somehow, despite the reports and various checks in place, he was still able to purchase an assault rifle and use it to kill dozens of people.
The event has sparked significant debate amongst the public and politicians about gun control, an issue which many see as central to the problem.