Six years after the Chardon school shooting, a survivor reflects on her past experience and how it helps her relate to students as a teacher in an age when school shootings have become more commonplace.
“There are some things that will pull you right back to it, and sometimes you’ll think did that really happen to me,” said Chardon High School graduate Brittney Wilson.
Wilson was a 14-year-old freshman when a student shot and killed three of her classmates and injured three other students inside Chardon High School Feb. 27, 2012.
She heard the gunfire and took cover with other students that day.
Wilson also understands what students in Parkland, Florida are feeling after the shooting tragedy there.
“Unfortunately, another one, the fact that this has to keep happening over and over again it has become a trend, that’s the scariest part of it, it’s stressful,” Wilson said.
Despite the stress that news of another school shooting brings, the student teacher in Solon Schools says it doesn’t affect her desire to be a teacher.
“I can honestly say the shooting has never wavered my opinion on whether I wanted to be a teacher. If anything, it has solidified that these students are going to need someone who is going to stand up for them, not only in their education but in an emotional standpoint,”
Wilson said she can impress upon students the real importance of active shooter training. She also said her experience during the Chardon shooting makes her a more compassionate teacher.
“I’m using it in my teaching. I am much more aware whether it be a parent comment about something that’s bothering their student, or something that maybe I hear a child say. I’m much more aware and able to catch some different things,” Wilson said.
Wilson's gained perspective over the years. She said she knows that it’s not worth complaining about a so-called bad day.
“Things can always be worse, things can always be worse. The best thing that we can do is take it from our experience, and try to move on, and try to do life the best that we can,” Wilson said.