Mary Beth Lane The Columbus Dispatch
Students and staff at central Ohio schools wore blue on Monday to honor the two Westerville police officers who were killed on the job Saturday.
Blue clothing and blue ribbons dotted classrooms in the Westerville district, as well as the Centerburg district in Knox County, where two daughters of Officer Eric Joering attend middle school and elementary school.
The student councils of the Centerburg middle school and high school decided over the weekend to promote the wearing of blue, as well as blue ribbons, said Ryan Gallwitz, principal of both schools.
“A lot of people are wearing blue today and will be wearing blue all week,” Gallwitz said Monday.
Students developed the grassroots effort, Gallwitz said, after Joering and Officer Anthony Morelli were fatally shot while responding to a 911 hang-up call at a Westerville residence.
“It is a terribly tragic event,” Gallwitz said.
Students in the Centerburg district also are making plans to sell t-shirts as a fundraiser to help the families of the fallen officers, he said.
Westerville district students and staff, who wore blue on Monday and held a moment of silence in classrooms, also are planning fundraising efforts, district spokesman Greg Viebranz said.
They also are at work making banners and cards to show support for the Westerville Police Department and its fallen officers and their families, Viebranz said.
Westerville schools are displaying blue ribbons outside, and the district‘s school bus fleet is paying tribute to the officers by displaying on the bus placards their badge numbers of 509 and 467.