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.