The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

School principals are heroes

Posted by Bill Nance on September 3, 2008

In an age when it seems every other headline on education is some story of idiot school administrators suspending six-year-olds for “sexual harassment,” or a 16-year-old girl for the great crime of possession of Midol, it’s gratifying to see to genuine heroes emerge.

Yesterday when a 15-year-old entered his high-school building with a pistol and fired a shot into the school’s trophy display case, students and teachers huddled behind locked doors and prayed.

But Principal Paul Lombardo and Assistant Principal Jeff Lyons did something else. They “marched toward the sound of the guns.”

Lombardo and Lyons saw the student with the gun, and rather than run away screaming, or waiting for the SWAT team to come in guns-blazing, they did something different. They talked to the young man.

It turns out the student was depressed, and according to Lombardo during a NPR interview this afternoon, it quickly became apparent that the only threat present was to the boy himself.

The two men talked to the student, calming him down, and Lombardo told him the story of a close friend of his who had committed suicide, and of the pain he left behind. Eventually the boy unloaded the gun, set it down, and allowed the two to take him out to police, who were just arriving.

It takes genuine courage to run to the sound of the guns when you’re unarmed. And still more to approach a student with a gun with the hope of helping him, not just disarming him. The genuine care these men showed for the welfare of this boy, as well as their courage is what the term “Character”is all about.

America needs more men like Paul Lombardo and Jeff Lyons. Today, the people of Willoughby Ohio should be proud.

-Nuff said

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