Noblesville school parents reflect on shooting 1 year later

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Saturday marks one year since a Noblesville West Middle School student opened fire in his classroom injuring a student and teacher.

Since then, district officials say have implemented dozens of new safety and mental health initiatives.

But some parents who are part of the group "Noblesville Stands Together" are still pushing for change.

“It’s the people who weren’t affected by it as time goes on, it becomes less raw to them,” said Noblesville West Middle School parent Apra Gupta.

Gupta says her feelings are just as raw as they were nearly one year ago.

“It’s becoming the norm, unfortunately. We have to do something, we can’t just sit back,” she added.

Noblesville schools officials say since May 25, 2018 they have:

  • Doubled the number of SRO’s
  • Hired a new full-time safety director
  • Hardened doors and windows
  • Enhanced security cameras near school entryways
  • Moved visitor entry process to outside of school building
  • Researched classroom barricading products
  • Looked into mental health screening tools for teachers and counselors

“I think they did everything they were supposed to do because we never thought it would happen here,” said NWNS parent Jenny Sochocki.

In November, voters approved a referendum that will fund the hiring of additional counselors and other mental health initiatives, like education on coping strategies.

These parents say that’s just one part of the equation. In the months following the shooting, they turned to lawmakers to push for change. This month, the governor signed a wide-ranging school safety bill.

But parents we talked to say they were disappointed all mental health references were taken out just days before the end of session.

“It’s frustrating sometimes when you gain hope for that opportunity, you realize the legislative process can go backwards,” explained Noblesvlle school parent Brian Cross.

They say this anniversary is just a reminder of how much more needs to be done to protect and prevent.

“It’s not just about Noblesville West. It’s about Noblesville, our county, and in turn our entire community,” Sochock said.

To view a complete list of Noblesville school safety changes and initiatives, click here.

The district is also is suggesting some options for families looking to spend some time together this weekend.

Noblesville West Middle School blood drive

  • 3-7 p.m. in the Green Room at Federal Hill Commons
  • The blood drive is part of a student’s eagle scout service project and is being hosted in honor of NWMS
  • To sign up, contact leberthart@comcast.net

Serve Noblesville’s “Come Together” campaign kicks off

  • The campaign encourages people to connect in different ways

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