Two years after tragedy struck, community is still #FreemanStrong

Friday marks two years since the tragedy at Freeman High School.

On September 13, 2017 a gunman opened fire at the school, killing one student and injuring three others.

Fifteen-year-old Sam Strahan was shot and killed as he confronted the shooter. Three teenage girls were rushed to Sacred Heart Medical Center, where they stayed for several days as they recovered.

In the days, weeks, months and now years after the shooting, the Freeman community rallied together, bonded by their motto: Freeman Strong.

The phrase has become synonymous with the community’s resilience and strength in the time following the unthinkable tragedy.

Anniversaries of traumatic events can often resurface difficult memories. Therapists emphasize that everyone heals and grieve differently.

It is important for students to know that even after time has passed, it is okay to still be in the healing process. The best thing parents can do is reassure their child that they are not alone.

School is optional for students on Friday.

“We will be flexible so everyone may choose what they feel is the best way to work through the day on their own terms. We continue to do our very best to provide support and meet each student and staff member where they are on their road of recovery,” said Superintendent Randy Russell.

Supports will be available for staff and students who want to access them.

Throughout the month of September, the Freeman community is holding a Month of Service in honor of Strahan. Associated Student Body leaders are collecting items for distribution to Calvary Soup Kitchen, where Strahan served as a volunteer; Coats 4 Kids; and the Union Gospel Mission.

The Freeman community will honor Strahan and those affected by the shooting with a moment of silence on Friday. At dusk, there will be a candlelight vigil on the FHS football field.