I work at a school when I’m not working behind my keyboard. Schools are important places for the present and future health of a country. Lucky for us, there are heroes there.
During the ten years I worked full-time at the middle school, we fielded tons of questions when a school shooting happened. Think Sandy Hook Elementary. Or even the Boston Marathon bombing.
A local law enforcement official died in the line of duty trying to subdue an armed man in a town a few miles from where we lived. His death, funeral and the dedication of a section of our highway in his name all provided in-class opportunity to discuss important safety issues with our students.
Another shooting happened on September 29 in South Carolina. A 14-year-old took a gun into an elementary school and shot two students and a teacher.
You know what, no matter what reason comes to light from this teenage gunman, I’ll never understand the compulsion to gun down defenseless children. (Thinking of the Jedi temple scene in Episode III – when Anakin Skywalker became irredeemable in my eyes.)
But I’m thankful for the everyday heroes who worked at the Townville school and who volunteered for their fire department. Those people are worthy of admiration.
In Townville, an unarmed volunteer fireman, Jamie Brock, searched the grounds for the shooter. When he saw him hiding in the grass, he confronted and subdued him. It didn’t matter that the shooter had a gun aimed at him and Brock had only a determination for right.
You know what else I admire about this everyday hero? He knows who the real heroes are in that school building and so many others around the world.
“The true heroes of (this) senseless tragedy are the teachers that put their lives on the line to protect their students, the principal who through fears of her own (did) what was right to ensure the safety of the school,” Brock said via statement at a September 30 press conference.
Brock contends that his reaction to search for the gunman is no different than what any fire or law enforcement personnel would do. After all, they put their lives on the line daily to protect their communities.
It’s nice to see teachers heralded as heroes. Most are overworked and underpaid as they pour all of their talents and passion into teaching children, preparing them for life.
As the teacher I worked with and I told our students, it is our job to protect them. From bullies. From their own ignorance. And, yes, most definitely from an armed assailant.
Do you know a heroic educator? Brag on them in the comments. Then go and tell them how much you appreciate all they do.
All of us are holding out for a hero. In real life we admire the people who go above and beyond. In our fantasy realities (whether film or book), we expect the good guy to save the world while showing us the mud on his face.
What amazes me is that we are surrounded by everyday heroes. These people don’t get the applause of the media or the acclaim of notoriety. Which is probably the way they like it.
Sometimes they make the news, though. It might only be a thirty-second spot in between the tirade about political mudslinging and another stormy weather report, but it makes me want to watch the news.
But I don’t. I read one newspaper. And I trust that media group to shuffle news stories they think I might enjoy into my email inbox.
In Colorado, two boys played outside. You know, like most kids used to do back before video games and other electronics warped their minds. (Whoops! Not the subject of this post. *reels in ire*)
When the screaming began, the mom who was busy working on maintaining her home and feeding her family (a full-time gig) rushed outside.
Did her legs buckle when she saw a mountain lion on top of her youngest son? Maybe her heart tried to long jump out of her chest. Her stomach plunged toward her feet.
And then she roared.
Because that’s what mama bears do when someone messes with one of their cubs.
And this one-hundred percent heroic all-human mother rushed the cougar. The beast probably outweighed her. It’s massive claws wreaked havoc on her son’s clothes. And those teeth? And they were snarling not smiling.
With her bare hands she beat the wild animal off her son. Not with a frying pan or a baseball bat. This angry mama put her OWN claws out and let that cat have a taste of her personal brand of martial arts.
I can picture her screaming at the fleeing backside of the wild cat, “Don’t mess with my cubs!”
Because if you’ve seen a mama bear in protection mode, it’s enough to send most other wild animals running.
Motherhood takes Heroics
While I’m in awe of this true story, I admit I’m pretty impressed with most moms. Even if they don’t destroy wild beasts with their bare hands.
Moms know that love is about sacrifice. They’re willing to take the gift card meant to buy them something nice at the department store and spend it on new shoes their kid needs for soccer. If there’s not enough chicken to go around the dinner table, mom’s not that hungry anyway.
When their kids need a ride, mom dons her chauffeur’s cap, even if it means cashing in pop cans to afford the fuel. Cupcakes are needed for school the next day? In the old days, mom would stay up late baking them from scratch and making thick homemade frosting to slather on them. These days, such a request means another trip to the grocery store. (Didn’t I go there yesterday?)
Sleep goes away when a child is sick and needs monitoring and soothing and another dose of ibuprofen.
Showers might be short and cold when mom takes the last one of the morning (and for this reason I love my tankless hot water heater-no end to hot showers).
This sounds mundane next to the mountain lion story, I know. But have you seen a soccer mom transform into a mother bear when someone bullies her kid?
And those are the sort of moms kids need and deserve. A mother who puts the child’s welfare above her own.
And Lord help anyone who tries to hurt her babies.