As reported by CNN, there have been 288 school shootings in the United States since 2008. Along with the major stories covering Columbine and Sandy Hook are many others that a lot of people have never hear about. Not only has this become a major concern for school faculty and law enforcement agencies but also parents and students.
Kids should be able to attend school to learn without worrying about some crazy person opening fire. Yet, this is a problem that’s growing. For that reason, a lot of schools across the country are making changes. One of these is to allow teachers to carry firearms after completing the appropriate training.
That change made a significant difference in the lives of students at one Illinois high school.
What should’ve been an ordinary day of teaching became something entirely different. Angela McQueen has been a math and physical education teacher at Mattoon High School in Mattoon, Illinois for the past 17 years. One of her other duties is to monitor the cafeteria during lunch periods. It was there that she had to rely on special training.
Just another day monitoring kids in the cafeteria.
Angela genuinely cares about each and every student. On September 20, 2017, protecting “her kids” was the only thing on her mind. While performing her duties in an overcrowded cafeteria, she saw a freshman student named Josiah Lyons pull a handgun from his backpack only feet away.
“You’re not going to do this to my kids” was the thought running through Angela’s mind.
After pulling the gun out of his backpack, Josiah pointed it directly at students located to his right. Angela realized he was going to start shooting. Without hesitation, she sprang into action. Even though the student had his finger on the trigger, that didn’t stop her from taking charge. Lunging for the gun and then grabbing his arm, she was able to quickly point it in the air.
Proactive training likely saved lives.
Just a few days before the incident on September 17, Angela watched a video released by the Illinois Education Association on handling this very scenario. Along with that, she and other members of the faculty had gone through active shooter training. While she did everything right, the shooter was still able to fire off a couple of rounds. One bullet struck a student in the chest and hand while another bullet grazed a second student.
She’s not letting go.
Angela, with the help of the high school’s resource officer, held Josiah until local law enforcement arrived. After taking him away, she walked outside. There, she was greeted by a lot of upset students. In total disbelief about what just happened, they all hugged and cried.
Her “mama bear” came out.
In a statement to the Pantagraph, a local newspaper, Angela said “It’s the mama-bear instinct. I don’t have kids of my own, but these are still my kids.” While this shooting had the best possible outcome, it still serves as a reminder of how frequent this problem has become.
During a press conference, Police Chief, Jeff Branson, said “If it hadn’t been for her, the situation would have been a lot different.” As for the student struck by a bullet in the chest, he only had a short hospital stay. One high schooler who was impressed by Angela summed her actions up pretty well, “Ms. McQueen is Chuck Norris, basically.”
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Source: Reader’s Digest