Debbie Schultz, a Spanish teacher at Heritage High School (GA), was attacked in her classroom this week by her estranged husband. The reason she lived to tell this tale is because her students rescued her:
Debbie Shultz's class had just finished a Spanish II final exam Wednesday morning when the door to their trailer burst open with a bang. Shultz's estranged husband stood wild-eyed in the doorway, teeth gritted, pausing almost for dramatic effect, she recalled. Then he rushed toward her, she said, raising a large knife toward her chest.
That's when Shultz's students, 16- and 17-year-old kids, went to her rescue. Several of the youngsters tackled the man, pinning him to the floor and wresting the knife from his hand.
"Those kids are my heroes. I believe God used them to save my life," Shultz, 46, said Wednesday evening, recuperating at home with stitches in her hand and leg where her assailant slashed her with the knife.
"I'm sorry that they were called upon to do such a huge job so early in their lives, but without them I wouldn't be alive."
Only four years ago, one student shot six others at this school, finally surrendering to an assistant principal. Ms. Shultz was one the teachers who put herself in danger by warning other students of what was happening. Now her students have returned the favor:
Heritage High Principal Greg Fowler praised the students who went to Debbie Shultz's aid. "They love Ms. Shultz," Fowler said. "When a teacher has a relationship with the students, this is the payoff."
Nimesh Patel, 17, was taking a nap after finishing his final when he heard screaming and the scampering of fleeing students. He saw his teacher trying to fend off her assailant.
"I froze there for a second. Me and a couple of other guys grabbed him and threw him to the ground and basically sat on him until the cops came," he said.
Several other students helped Patel subdue the attacker. They included Austin Hutchinson, 16; John Bailey, 16; Andy Anderson, 17; Matt Battaglia, 17; and Scott Wigington, 17.
Ms. Shultz also made sure her students were okay, even as she was rushed off to recieve medical attention:
After the assailant was taken into custody, the students were provided counseling and allowed to go home if they wanted. Patel remained in school to take his chemistry and history finals.
Shultz hugged her sobbing students as she was taken away, letting them know she was OK.
She said she plans to return to her classroom today -- after she goes by the courthouse to sign final papers for her divorce.
"I'm definitely going to school tomorrow, to thank my kids for being heroes, to let them know I'm OK and that bad things happen to good people."
And to let them know that ordinary "good people" can be heroes if they choose.Posted by kswygert at December 18, 2003 01:04 PM