Jackson and Ian Griffith were at Noblesville West Middle school when a fellow classmate brought a gun to school and fired it in the classroom. While neither children were physically injured by a bullet, Jackson sprained his ankle while running during the school evacuation, and the whole family experienced the trauma of fearing for his life - not knowing where he was or why he was being rushed to the hospital.
The boys and their family continue to cope with the lingering psychological impact of the shooting.
“We were having a restroom break so we were outside of the classroom, and then we heard a thunder of people running downstairs, and my teacher said, “Get in the classroom! Get in the classroom!” Two minutes later there's an announcement to the school that there's an active shooter and we barricaded the room by putting desks and chairs in front of the door.”
“My immediate reaction once I heard the news of the school shooting was just absolute fear. I immediately left in a dead sprint to my car to get to the hospital where Jackson was to find out what was going on and the safety of my children. The hour that I was waiting to hear from Jackson, it was surreal. It was horrible… I was scared, and praying, and bargaining, and all the deals you make in your head that make sure that he's okay.”
“I got to the high school and I got ushered away, because I was the brother of the kid who fractured his ankle. [The Principal] ushered me through the hallways, which was the scariest moment of my life because there were SWAT members there and they had these huge guns. The first day back from school, I was worried [it] was going to happen again…maybe there's a person that thought, “I'm going to go finish the job, because [the shooter] didn't kill anybody.”
“I'm a Marine Corp veteran. [When] I went into a combat zone, I had an opportunity to get myself ready for that experience. Fortunately, I was able to walk away from that experience, and I'm fine. But who wants to send their children into a combat zone? We're sending our children into combat zones, essentially, every day. They're not prepared for that. They're not expecting that they're going to be going into a school where there could be gunfire”.