Teacher who disarmed student with gun wants more mental health resources in schools

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Thursday, December 22, 2022
Teacher who disarmed student wants mental health resources in school
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Fuquay-Varina Middle School teacher Lynn Guilliams was honored for her bravery and compassion she showed the 12-year-old student.

Lynn Guilliams loves her job as a 6th Grade teacher at Fuquay-Varina Middle School!

"I tell people, there's a reason I drive an hour to get to school," she said. "I pass a lot of schools between where I live, and where I work. But Fuquay is amazing, they support teachers in so many different ways," she continued.

These days Guilliams has leaned on that support after a scary moment at school earlier this month. She reflected on that moment Wednesday night.

"Teachers came running down the hallway saying Code Red, Code Red, clear the hallway. So, you know, we've practiced for this, but we don't know what's going on. And obviously, this not normal. So there was a second of panic," Guilliams described.

She quickly took action and rushed the students who were in the hallway inside her classroom, turned off the lights, and locked the door.

Fuquay-Varina Middle School was on lockdown because a student had a gun. What Guilliams didn't know, the student was in her classroom.

"He bent down and picked up a gun. And I'm in total disbelief, because again, I thought that whatever was going on was outside of the school, not in my classroom," she explained.

"I just was in shock for about a second. The look on his face was very scary. Very intense. Then I blinked. And he's my student. He's 12 years old. And he's in crisis, Guilliams reflected.

Then the Language Arts teacher did something that changed everything.

"I said, you stay right there. I'm coming to take the gun. I'm going to take it from you. You're gonna give it to me right now."

"As I took it from him, I still hadn't realized that he had fired any shot. And I smelled gunpowder. And I said, Why does this smell? And he said, well, because I just shot out the window right behind me. "

No one was hurt physically, but Guilliam hasn't been back to work since. She's still processing what happened and getting help to work through the trauma.

"Students need teachers who are 100 percent. I was 100 percent that day. And that's why I believe that I handled the situation that the way that I did, but I am not 100 percent right now. So I'm taking this time, " Guilliams shared.

She has been recognized for her bravery from senators to town council members. Guilliams said she is taking this experience to push for more resources for students who are in crisis. "We need to reach students before they reach for a gun."

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