Yesterday, in Willoughby, Ohio, a student brought a gun to school – and, instead of calling in the SWAT team, the principal and assistant principal confronted him and talked him down.
“Our gut told us that the young man did not want to hurt us, but he may in fact be ready to hurt himself very soon,” Lyons told NPR’s “All Things Considered” in an interview broadcast this afternoon. “Panic mode did set in a bit, but we then said to ourselves, ‘what are we going to do to keep this young man safe?'” Lyons said that he and the principal drew on years of experience working with kids, and, when the student threatened suicide, Lyons actually told him about his memories of a high school friend who had killed himself.
Not only is this an example of incredible bravery, it demonstrates that a peaceful response to a violent situation takes more nerve and creativity than simply resorting to force. I have a t-shirt with that message, but Lyons and his fellow administrator lived it yesterday.