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NJ Parents Concerned After Chardon High School Shooting

A third student has died following the shooting rampage yesterday at Chardon High School in Ohio.

NJ parents concerned about safety in schools following Ohio shootingThe tragedy has caused anguish and concern among parents across the Garden state, and the entire education community.

A Cleveland hospital said Demetrius Hewlin, who had been in critical condition, died Tuesday morning. The news came shortly after Police Chief Tim McKenna said 17-year-old Russell King Jr. had died.

Hewlin was among five students who were shot when a teenager – identified as T.J. Lane -reportedly from another school – opened fire in the cafeteria of Chardon High School yesterday morning.

Dr. Ron Coughlin, President of the New Jersey Violence Prevention Institute, says the story is chilling, because “these things lead to what we call social proof- meaning that others that are thinking about doing this – and there are many, from the anger in our society – they now see evidence it can be done, which will more than likely lead to similar acts occurring in the next few weeks.”

Mike Yaple, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association  says we’ve seen a lot of changes and upgrades to school safety in the Garden state over the past 20 years, including the implementation of crisis plans, character education, police officers in schools, safety drill drills and anti bullying programs.

“In spike of some of these high profile tragedies” he says, “schools are still one of the safest places that a child can be- school violence has been decreasing over the past 20 years.”

Robert Fairnacci, a lawyer representing T.J Lane’s family, says “the family wanted me to convey to the citizens of Geauga County and Northeastern Ohio that the family is devastated by this most recent event. They want to give their most heartfelt and sincere condolences to the family of the young man who passed and their continuing prayers are with all those who were injured. This is something that could never have been predicted.

TJ’s family has asked for some privacy while they try to understand how such a tragedy could have occurred and while they mourn this terrible loss for their community…by all accounts TJ is a fairly quiet and good kid. His grades are pretty impressive. He’s been doubling up his classes this year. He’s a sophomore. He’s been doubling up on his classes with the intent of graduating this May. He pretty much sticks to himself but does have some friends and has never been in trouble over anything that we know about.”

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