Noblesville journalism students nationally recognized for coverage of middle school shooting

NOBLESVILLE- Last year’s school shooting in Noblesville brought us so many heroic stories, and a lot of well-deserved recognition for teacher Jason Seaman, who stopped the young shooter and saved countless lives.

Now, two high school students from Noblesville are also being honored for helping to share the story of what happened that day, amidst some very difficult circumstances.

“I'm just really proud of these guys,” said journalism teacher Joe Akers, whose students recently earned national recognition for their work on May 25th of last year.

“When everything was over and under control and we were released to go home, I was like everyone else, I was in shock I was numb, but I wanted to help make a difference,” said student Jacob Hoffman, one of the award recipients. “I didn't know how or what to do so I just did what came natural and that's pick up a camera and talk to people.”

So Hoffman and fellow student Skye McLaughlin did just that. And now, their award-winning video has been viewed more than 12,000 times on YouTube.

“It was a hard day and I just think a lot of people felt really helpless and I just felt that the only way I could contribute by sharing stories of parents, stories of students on a day that everybody felt so hopeless,” said McLaughlin, who is also editor of the school newspaper.

“It was really important to get those students at West, to get their stories out there, to get Ella's story, Jason story (out), but especially those students whose lives were changed forever… I just think (their stories) need to be heard.”

“Everything was moving at a really high speed that day,” said Akers. “I told them you guys can do as much of this as you want or as little cause they were trying to process it themselves so I said if you want to cover it you can, and if you don't want to cover it that's okay too and they said let's do it.”

Hoffman and McLaughlin won a national award for their efforts, earning a certificate of merit from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

“Mr. Akers always says ‘everybody has a story’ and it's true,” said McLaughlin. “I love being able to share those stories.”

“We only made it to help the community move on,” said Hoffman. “It's great it went national and to so many people to really make a difference.”

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