West Liberty-Salem High School: What’s changed 1 year after shooting

The shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School will mark its one-year anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 20. The event rocked the small village of West Liberty, which received national attention as one of the shootings that occurred in 2017.

Here are some of the things that have changed at the campus since the shooting and how the community is still working to heal .

» READ MORE: West Liberty still healing 1 year after school shooting

New security features added

Several new security measures have been implemented at the school since the shooting, including new windows and doors. During the shooting, many children escaped through windows that weren’t designed to open fully, making it difficult for several of them. New windows in the school now fully open in case of emergency, allowing for easier escape.

DETAILS: West Liberty school shooting suspect to stay in adult court

Classroom doors have also been outfitted with special devices that make it more difficult for intruders to enter and bullet-resistant film has been installed in all windows.

Students also must follow new security protocols, including only entering the building through one entrance.

Counselor hired to help speak to students

A counselor has been added to the staff to speak to students who might still be dealing with the after-effects of the shooting.

The Springfield News-Sun spoke with leaders at other schools that experienced a school shooting and was told many students appeared fine right after the tragedy  but then develop issues later on. West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong said the school has seen a similar trend, which lead them to hire the counselor full-time.

Activities planned to give back to a supportive community

To show their appreciation to first responders, the students at West Liberty-Salem are set to host Tiger Strong Day on Thursday, Jan. 18. Many high school students will work with elementary school students to create thank you cards for the responders and medical staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus where Logan Cole, one of the victims in the shooting, was treated.

The community was important to the recovery of the school, West Liberty-Salem High School senior Taylor Henault said.

“The community was really great to us and made us feel loved,” Henault said. “We just want to give back to the community, which was so nice and supportive of us.”

They will also create chew toys out of old T-shirts for animals at PAWS animal shelter and for therapy dogs who supported the students after the shooting. The students also plan on making cookies for schools who sent positive messages.


State says Northeastern violated federal, state bus safety rules

Ohio-built Accord named car of the year

Springfield schools expands $6.3M tech program to youngest students

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

In today’s classrooms, schools balance technology with tradition to prepare students for jobs
In today’s classrooms, schools balance technology with tradition to prepare students for jobs

With new technology available and a focus on developing students for jobs needed in the future, local school districts are balancing innovations in gadgets and tools with traditional techniques in their classrooms. STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and math) have become increasingly prevalent in schools over the last decade. Some school...
Duke University says Robert E. Lee statue won't return to chapel entrance
Duke University says Robert E. Lee statue won't return to chapel entrance

Duke University announced the spot where a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee once stood will remain empty.  >> Read more trending news  A year ago on Aug. 19, crews removed the statue from the iconic chapel entrance. The removal came several days after the statue was defaced in the wake of the protests that turned violent...
Eric Clapton announces first full-length Christmas album
Eric Clapton announces first full-length Christmas album

Eric Clapton on Friday announced the release of his first full-length Christmas album, Billboard reported.  >> Read more trending news  Set for an Oct. 12 release, “Happy Xmas” will have a blues edge to it and will contain 14 tracks and is the 24th studio album of Clapton’s career and his first since 2016 when...
Stafford: Reflections on gravity and ‘relative’ humidity
Stafford: Reflections on gravity and ‘relative’ humidity

With school underway, it struck me. If I’d started taking science classes a little later in life, I would have taken them a little more seriously. That’s because I would have taken them personally. It’s also possible that, at a later age, I might have been wise enough to fill in for myself what the teachers didn’t tell me. Take...
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dead at 80
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dead at 80

Kofi Annan, a diplomat from Ghana who served as UN Secretary-General for nine years and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, died early Saturday, CNN reported. He was 80. >> Read more trending news  Annan died in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland. Reuters reported. Annan was the seventh Secretary-General, serving from 1997 to 2006...
More Stories