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Chardon football coach Hall reflects on Texas school shooting

Chardon football coach Hall reflects on Texas school shooting
Posted at 10:49 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 23:15:53-04

CHARDON, Ohio — Chardon High School Football Coach Frank Hall said the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas brought back emotions that sadly he knows all too well.

The May 24 school shooting at Robb Elementary School left at least 19 children and three adults dead. Hall told News 5 he can't imagine what the families of the victims in Texas are going through and said his thoughts are with families of the Feb. 27, 2012, Chardon High School shooting, who now have to relive a wide variety of emotions.

“Always brings it back home, and the worst part of it is the victim’s families,” Hall said. "To know what they went through and what they’ve gone through. It saddens you to know what this brings them back to, the memories that they're going to have to deal with tonight thinking about this. Dealing with them and knowing how heartbroken they were and knowing what the parents in Texas are going through tonight.”

It was Hall who was credited with chasing the teenage shooter out of Chardon High School and going back into the building to help victims who were still inside.

“Looking down that hallway and seeing the cafeteria, knowing that I have to go back there, that it was my responsibility to go back there," Hall said. “It was a tough time, but the more I think about it the more grateful that I was there and able to be with them.”

Hall has dedicated his life to improving school safety, starting The Coach Hall Foundation in 2013, in memory of Chardon High School shooting victims Danny Parmertor, Demetrius Hewlin, and Russell King. Hall believes there are two things that must happen to improve school safety across the country. He also believes the local government needs to play a bigger role in making school safety decisions.

"You must have a school resource officer in every school in America, they are in charge of school safety, they have one objective, to make sure every kid goes home safe every day," Hall said. "The second component to that is mental health. If you don’t have a mental health expert in your school, that’s evaluating these kids, making sure they have someone to talk to, identifying problems, then you need to reevaluate what you’re doing."

"A mental health expert in a school is as important as a math teacher, or a science teacher, or an English teacher, they’re as big a part of school as anything."