After the horrible recent events at the Florida school shooting, many teachers around the country tried to reassure their students and address what the best plan of action was in case a shooting situation ever happened in their school.
The subject is particularly sensitive for proud teacher Marissa Schimmoeller, who teaches English to first-year students at the Delphos Jefferson High School in Ohio.
Marissa has been dealing with cerebral palsy for her entire life and is completely confined to a wheelchair as a result. Nonetheless, Marissa loves teaching and wouldn’t miss it for the world.
However, the woman realizes that she isn’t in the physical condition to help save her students or even herself in case of an emergency.
It’s a horrible thought that something could go wrong, but in light of the recent events, schools are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their students.
When Marissa wanted to talk with her students about the sensitive subject, she flat-out told them that they should always run away and save themselves instead of helping her.
“Do not worry about me. Your safety is my number one priority,” she said.
Immediately, the class had an answer ready for her that she didn’t expect at all.
Some students told her that they would have a plan of their own if an emergency situation ever occurred, and it is so heart-wrenching that it brought Marissa to tears.
It turned out that the students already had a discussion amongst themselves about what to do in case something terrible would happen. They simply said they would carry her.
Marissa was heartstruck and decided to share her classroom interaction on Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
“Today was really hard for me. Today was the first time I had to teach the day after a mass school shooting. I dreaded facing my students this morning, and as the first students walked in, I began to feel the anxiety pooling in my stomach. I was dreading one, specific question. Soon after class began, a freshman asked me the question I had been dreading since I had heard about the tragedy in Florida,” she posted.
“What will we do if a shooter comes in your room?” one of the freshman students asked.
“My stomach sank. I launched into my pre-planned speech about our plan of action. Then, I knew I had to say the harder 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.”
“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.”
Slowly, quietly, as the words I had said sunk in, another student raised their hand. She said, “Mrs. Schimmoeller, we already talked about it. If anything happens, we are going to carry you.”
“I lost it. 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. It was found in the hearts of my students today.”
We can only imagine what a beautiful and heartwarming moment that must’ve been.
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Marissa herself was surprised that her post went viral, and says that she’d rather have the attention focussed towards the “amazing students of her school and the victims and survivors of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.”
These students are simply amazing!
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Source: Marissa Schimmoeller