The court battle over the Chardon Healing Fund is far from over, but Thursday brought a partial victory for the victims' families.
CHARDON, Ohio - The notes and cards that hung in the hallways of Chardon High School expressing support following the deadly shootings in its cafeteria have been taken down.
Lockers that belonged to the three students killed last winter have been removed and given to their families. The new lockers in their place have a commemorative plaque, but won't be assigned to students this year.
The students and teachers at the school where three students died and three others were injured are starting to move forward with the beginning of a new school year.
Principal Andrew Fetchik told The (Willoughby) News-Herald that he wants the school to get back into a routine even though it never will be the same.
"The kids are still hurt and hurting. We want to be there for them," he said.
The school is getting a grant from the federal government to pay for a security guard and mental health screenings for students and staff. The money also will go toward paying for substitutes for teachers and staff who need time for counseling.
The district has put new tables and fresh paint in the cafeteria. New classroom door locks have been installed too.
"When I hear the whistles blowing and band practicing it starts feeling like school again," Fetchik said.
The teenager charged in the shooting has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault in the Feb. 27 shootings.
Attorneys for 17-year-old T.J. Lane will have until the end of September to finish psychological evaluations and decide whether to change the teen's not guilty plea. His attorneys are considering entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity instead.
Lane attended an alternative school for students who haven't done well in traditional schools. He was at Chardon waiting for a bus.
Parents spent several weeks over the summer archiving the cards and notes that came from people across the world.
Math teacher Mark Shafer said he missed the students over the summer.
"We grew close to the kids last year so we can't wait to see them again this year," he said. "The community has become incredibly tight."
Plans are being developed to turn a courtyard into a healing garden. Donations will help pay for it.
"We all have this sense of community that goes beyond words," said language arts teacher Dawn Weaver.
Chardon HS Shooting
Football coach Frank Hall, who chased the Chardon High School shooter out of the building, is receiving national attention in a cover story for Sports Illustrated.
A football coach at Chardon High School is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for his role in confronting a gunman as his school.
A Geauga County judge ruled Friday that money from the Chardon Healing Fund will remain under court-protected authority until a final decision is made.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is ready to announce the recommendations of a committee formed to evaluate school safety in the wake of last year's school shootings in Connecticut and in Chardon in northeast Ohio.
The commencement ceremony for Chardon High School's class of 2013 being held Saturday is expected to be an emotional one, especially once Nick Walczak makes his way across the stage.
The families of the three teens killed in the Chardon High School shooting last year are suing the United Way.
Gov. John Kasich plans to deliver the commencement address at a northeast Ohio high school where three students were killed and three others injured in a 2012 shooting spree.
One of the surviving victims of the Chardon High School shooting is suing the admitted gunman.
Five law-enforcement dispatchers in Ohio have been honored for their work during a chaotic school shooting which left three students dead and three wounded.