'We'll carry you': Students’ active shooter plan for teacher in wheelchair goes viral

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 5:37 PM

Students’ Plan to Help Teacher in Wheelchair During Active Shooter Plan Goes Viral

The day after a gunman killed 17 students and staff at a Florida high school, Ohio schoolteacher Marissa Schimmoeller was particularly emotional. 

It was the first time Schimmoeller, a first-year English language arts teacher at Delphos Jefferson High School in Delphos, had to face her students in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy. And she knew the question she dreaded most would come. 

Soon after class began, it did, Schimmoeller shared in a Facebook post later that afternoon.

“Mrs. Schimmoeller,” a freshman girl asked. “What will we do if a shooter comes in your room?”

Schimmoeller, who uses a wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, wrote that her stomach sank as she began her planned speech about the plan in place in the event of an active shooter. Then came the hardest part. 

“I want you to know that I care deeply about each and every one of you and that I will do everything I can to protect you,” Schimmoeller wrote that she told her students. “But, being in a wheelchair, I will not be able to protect you the way an able-bodied teacher will. And if there is a chance for you to escape, I want you to go. Do not worry about me. Your safety is my number one priority.”

The students were silent for a few moments as her words sank in, Schimmoeller wrote. Then another student raised her hand.

“Mrs. Schimmoeller, we already talked about it. If anything happens, we are going to carry you,” the girl said, according to Schimmoeller

Schimmoeller said she “lost it” when she realized that her students already had their own plan in place to protect her. 

“With tears in my eyes as I type this, I want my friends and family to know that I understand that it is hard to find the good in the world, especially after a tragedy like the one that we have watched unfold, but there is good. True goodness,” the teacher wrote. “It was found in the hearts of my students today.”

Schimmoeller’s post almost immediately went viral, with more than 25,000 people sharing it on their own pages. Since then, the 24-year-old teacher has done interviews with media from Ohio to Ireland. 

Schimmoeller told “Today” that she felt the need to tell her story because she knew that other people shared her anger over the violence they were witnessing and needed a reminder that good exists in the world.

“When I was in front of those amazing kids as they told me they would carry me out of our building if, God forbid, we were faced with a situation like the one in Florida, it occurred to me that every child, every one of my students, is so full of light and goodness,” Schimmoeller said

Schimmoeller also did an interview with Cork’s 96FM in Cork, Ireland, in which she spoke about her disability and how it played into the fear surrounding school shootings.  

“I think students are a little on edge, especially with the violence in Florida and it being shared on social media through videos of the survivors, and I think the fear is a real one,” Schimmoeller said in the interview

She said, however, that she wrote her Facebook post to focus instead on the goodness and positivity she sees at work every day. She said she initially worried about whether she could be an effective teacher from a wheelchair, but that her students are always willing to help her by passing out papers to the class or writing on the board.

>> Read more trending news

Schimmoeller said that in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day, she pondered how she would make her students feel safe when she feared her own limitations. 

“I realized that, my freshmen especially being new to this building, we should review the … training we’ve all undergone. I also wanted to make clear to them that I would do everything in my power to keep them safe,” Schimmoeller said. “Because ultimately, I think some of their instinct was to protect me, being that I am in a more vulnerable position.”

She said she wanted students to know that their first instinct should be to see to their own safety. 

“I’m sure that my co-workers and staff at the school would keep me safe, but it was up to me to make sure that (the students) knew that my priority was their safety,” she said. “And if worse comes to worse, I wanted them to leave me because their safety is more important than my own.”

She told the students she would die for them, and went over with them ways in which they could use her chair’s wheels as weapons against an armed intruder, Schimmoeller told the radio station

Regarding her students’ reaction to her speech, Schimmoeller said she was overcome by their willingness to risk themselves to save her.  

“I started to cry when I thought about how incredible it is that these young people who I’ve known only since August were willing to do that for me,” she said

Schimmoeller said her first-period students were not the only ones to show compassion that day. She gave the same talk in all of her classes, and one student offered to give her a “piggyback ride” if need be. 

Other students said it would not be OK if anything happened to her. 

“I had one student say, ‘Well, Mrs. Schimmoeller, nothing can happen to you,” she said. The world needs more Mrs. Schimmoellers. Who’s going to be there to teach kids like me?”

“And that really touched my heart, and I think that’s what drove me to write the Facebook post.”

The public’s response to Schimmoeller’s viral post was worldwide, with commenters praising the young teacher for the inspiration she is to her students. 

“There are teachers that make a difference in our children’s lives, and you most surely are one of them,” one woman wrote. “Thank you from a parent in Missouri.”

“Marissa, you are an amazing teacher to be able to inspire your student,” a man wrote. “Fantastic. Touched our hearts down here in Australia. Keep up your great work.”

Others praised the students. 

“Way to go, DJHS students,” another woman wrote. “A testament to you, your families and your teacher. Thanks for reminding the world that we should take care of each other.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

German explosion: 25 hurt, 4 seriously, in Wuppertal blast

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 6:09 AM

A car and a house are destroyed after an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, June 24, 2018. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)
Henning Kaiser/AP
A car and a house are destroyed after an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, June 24, 2018. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)(Henning Kaiser/AP)

At least 25 people were hurt in an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, police said Sunday.

According to The Associated Press, four victims were hurt "severely" in the blast and ensuing fire late Saturday at a "several-story building." The other victims suffered slight injuries, the AP reported

>> Read more trending news 

"It can currently not be ruled out that there are still other people in the building," police said Sunday, according to Deutsche Welle. "The rescue efforts are ongoing."

Authorities are looking into what caused the blast, the AP reported.

Read more here.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

San Diego police shooting: 2 officers injured, suspect dead

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 4:37 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 4:37 AM

File photo of police lights. Two police officers reportedly were shot and injured late Saturday in San Diego, California.
fsHH / Pixabay.com
File photo of police lights. Two police officers reportedly were shot and injured late Saturday in San Diego, California.(fsHH / Pixabay.com)

Two police officers reportedly were shot and injured late Saturday in San Diego, California. 

Here is the latest information:

Update 1:43 a.m. PDT June 24: KNSD’s Omari Fleming reports that investigators are unsure whether the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or was killed by officers.

KSWB’s Andrew Luria tweeted that “hundreds of rounds may have been fired” in the shootout.

Update 1:07 a.m. PDT June 24: The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the suspect is dead. According to the newspaper, “a police dog went in and bit the suspect on the leg” after a robot searched the apartment. 

“After getting no response from the man, police determined he was dead shortly before 1 a.m.,” the Union-Tribune reported.

Update 1 a.m. PDT June 24: According to KSWB’s Andrew Luria, one of the wounded San Diego police officers “is currently in surgery with a life-threatening injury” after being shot in the chest. The second officer suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder but is “expected to be OK,” Luria tweeted.

Update 12:26 a.m. PDT June 24: According to KFMB reporter Steve Price, the shooting suspect “appears to be down” and has “head trauma.”

KSWB’s Andrew Luria reported that the suspect had been “wearing body armor.” Officers sent a robot into the apartment where he had been hiding, police said.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the suspect was “possibly deceased.”

The wounded San Diego police officers’ condition was not yet known, Price tweeted.

Update 12:01 a.m. PDT June 24: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, police said a gunman shot at officers through a wall at an apartment complex off Rolando Court. A SWAT team was at the scene, where the suspected shooter was still inside the building, police said.

The newspaper reported that officers had taken another man into custody about 11:20 p.m. PDT but “ascertained within moments that he was not the shooter.”

Emergency personnel rescued a firefighter from the building after the two wounded police officers “and at least one firefighter were pulled out of the building on a ladder,” the Union-Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Please return for updates on this developing story.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest: Contestants, how to vote and past winners

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.
Dale Godfrey
The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.(Dale Godfrey)

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition is getting underway at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, and this year, fans around the world can vote for their favorite to win the People’s Choice Award.

>>PHOTOS: 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contestants 

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition takes place Saturday, June 23, after each contestant struts their stuff down the red carpet.

 

The California fair tradition dates back 30 years. Most of the World’s Ugliest Dog contestants are up for adoption and the event helps raise awareness of pet rescue and adoption.

>> Read more trending news 

Past winners have been rescued from animal shelters and puppy mills.

Last year’s winner was Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff who was being fostered by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Group.

Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, was crowned 2017's World's Ugliest Dog.(World’s Ugliest Dog Competition)

Martha has since been adopted.

The first place winner of the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition wins $1,500 and the grand trophy. The second place winner will receive $1,000 and third place will be granted $500. 

One dog will also be awarded the Spirit Award, which highlights one special dog and owner who have overcome obstacles or provided service in the community -- such as visiting nursing homes, reading at local libraries with children or spending time with patients in hospitals.

Cast your vote for People’s Choice Award in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog competition here

Trending - Most Read Stories

2-year-old trapped under rock pile survived, thanks to cop with background as stone mason

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:57 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A two-year old trapped under a massive pile of rocks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was released from the hospital Saturday, thanks to a police officer with a unique talent.

>> Read more trending news 

It turned out the responding Portsmouth officer, T.J. Potter, had previous experience as a professional stone mason and specialized in historical foundation repair.

Potter's experience helped him accurately assess the danger the child was in and properly remove the slabs from on top of the child.

"[It was] a five man stone or a five man block which indicated that you would need four to five people to life it and set it on a wall, and we have done stones like that and built with stones like that, so I knew we could lift it by hand," Potter said.

"I think that was the main concern – can we lift it off the boy?"

Authorities responded to 325 Little Harbor Road after a distress call about a 2-year-old trapped under a pile of rocks. 

>> Trending: Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker’s son accused of sexually assaulting woman on JetBlue flight

When officers arrived, they found the boy pinned between large slabs of stone.

The boy had been playing on top one of the stone slabs with his grandfather when the slab he was standing on dislodged. The child fell forward and was trapped by the slab, which came to rest on his head.

The stone slabs are being used to build a foundation for a seawall and each slab is estimated to weigh several hundred pounds.

The situation was highly delicate, police said, because one of the stone slabs was resting on the child's head, and could have given way at any moment, putting the child at risk of sustaining the full weight of the stone on his head.

After a coordinated effort by police and firefighters, rescuers freed the boy in about nine minutes.

The child's parents were able to keep him calm as first responders worked their way around the stone slabs and rescued him.

>> Trending: 4 children killed in violent police standoff laid to rest in Florida

The child was first given emergency medical treatment at the scene then transported to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Trending - Most Read Stories