Students at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford, Connecticut, were forced into lockdown on Thursday morning after a student made a threat on social media indicating that he had a gun in his book bag and was going to attack during junior lunch. After police were notified of the threat, the school was placed on lockdown, and it was reported that a student with a gun was roaming the campus. For students in teacher Paula Butterfield’s Biology class, the scene proved just how dedicated their teacher was to protecting their well-being should a gunman burst through the door. Butterfield is being called a hero by her students for putting herself on the line for her students during the frightening ordeal.
Fox 61 reports that Biology teacher Paula Butterfield was determined to keep her student’s safe during the school shooting threat no matter the cost. As students claim they feared for their life thinking they were about to die, Butterfield told them not to worry because she will protect them and wielded a large yardstick at the door to the classroom. Student Camani Bell says that Butterfield wasted no time grabbing the yardstick and standing on guard at the door while telling students to “stay calm and stay put.”
“I thought we were going to die, but she’s like, ‘No. I have you guys. I will protect you. Just stay calm and stay put.'”
Though Bell was frightened, she did grab her cell phone and took a short video of Butterfield’s heroic actions.
The teacher grabbed the yardstick and prepared to take on whatever entered the door after the school was placed on lockdown due to a threat that a student on campus had a gun in his book bag. The student reportedly posted that he planned to shoot up the sophomore lunch room and that he had the gun in his possession.
“I got a gun in my bookbag and I’m deff gonna shot up the junior lunch way for what they did to me a couple of month back. [sic]”
Reports indicate that the lockdown took place at approximately 8:50 a.m. shortly after school began. The lockdown was initiated after the social media posting was reported and authorities identified a legitimate threat at the school. SWAT teams responded to the school and a K-9 unit combed the area for weapons. The student who posted the threatening message was detained by authorities but reportedly did not have a weapon in his possession.
There is an extra police presence at a West Hartford school today, due to a threat of a school shooting. https://t.co/Mcqvsbc3dA
— Alex Ceneviva (@AlexCeneviva) December 8, 2015
The lockdown was finally lifted at 10:15 a.m. after police determined there were no threats on the campus or to the community at large. Though there was no real threat at the school, many are praising teacher Paula Butterfield for going above-and-beyond to protect her students and put their minds at ease. Though Butterfield never had to use her yardstick, she was clearly seen in the video taken by the student preparing for the worst.
— Gifted Feazel (@GiftedFeazel) June 12, 2016
Shamikia Pitts, the mother of the student that took the video, says that she shared her daughter’s video because “when you see good, you want to make sure that good is known.” Pitts went on to publicly thank the teacher for her efforts and to note that “she did her job.”
“I want to thank her, thank her so much because anything could have happened. She did her job.”
What do you think about the Biology teacher’s response to the potential school shooting threat? Do you think she is a hero for doing all in her power to ensure her students felt safe and protected on her watch?
[Image via Youtube/Camani Bell]