WL-S student Logan Cole returns to school


WEST LIBERTY – A West Liberty-Salem High School student who was critically injured in a school shooting in January made his return to school this week.

West Liberty-Salem Schools Superintendent Kraig Hissong said Thursday that Logan Cole returned to school Monday and is attending school on an every other day basis.

Cole was one of two people injured in a Jan. 20 shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School. Since the shooting, Cole had been recovering and updates on his health have been provided by family in publicly-viewable Facebook posts.

“I just dropped off at school the bravest kid I know,” Julie Cole, Logan’s mother, stated in a post on Monday. “Logan Cole, you inspire me daily. You have taught me more in these last three weeks than you will ever know. You have more faith, strength, confidence, love and forgiveness than men twice your age. I could not be prouder to be your mom. My prayers will be following you all morning. I love you.”

Hissong said Logan Cole will be recognized at halftime tonight at the boys basketball game against Triad and students will wear special T-shirts recognizing his return.

Hissong said the support the school district has received locally and outside this area has been strong.

“It’s somewhat overwhelming just to see how the event has pulled our community closer and the strength that we have as a community when a tragedy occurs,” Hissong said. “It’s just amazing to see how people can work together and help each other through those times and, in this case, it’s been reflected a lot with the support from students from neighboring school districts, from the staff, and businesses. There’s been an outpouring of support, resources from all over the country so it’s been amazing in that regard to feel a lot of support for our school district and our staff and our students who went through this situation.”

Since school resumed on Jan. 24, Hissong said most students are feeling a sense of normalcy but added there are still times students require counseling.

“It’s in progress and it’s certainly getting better as time has gone on,” Hissong said. “Not simply just due to the fact of time but just due to the fact of trying to use the time that we have to help students the best we can. Our high school counselor Molly Smith has been integral in basically being able to help with that because she has worked with not only students but a lot of staff in regards to this situation.”

An appreciation luncheon for the West Liberty-Salem staff, local law enforcement, first responders and other members of the community is being held noon to 5 p.m. March 11 at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, 384 Park Ave., Urbana.

Entry for $8 includes a meal band and four tickets for the Kid Zone.

Ely R. Serna, 17, is facing 13 charges, including two counts of attempted murder and six counts of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or a school safety zone, stemming from the shooting.

During a Feb. 3 hearing, a competency evaluation was ordered for Serna to determine his competency. He was ordered to remain in detention during the pendency of the case.

By Nick Walton

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Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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