After the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida, Ohio teacher Marissa Schimmoeller was prepared to discuss the tragedy with her class.
"Today was the first time I had to teach the day after a mass school shooting," Schimmoeller shared on Facebook. "I dreaded facing my students this morning, and as the first students walked in, I began to feel the anxiety pooling in my stomach."
Though Schimmoeller had braced herself, there was one particular question she dreaded to hear.
"Mrs. Schimmoeller," a freshman in her class asked, "what will we do if a shooter comes in your room?"
"I want you to know that I care deeply about each and every one of you," Schimmoeller responded, "and that I will do everything I can to protect you."
Schimmoeller's next words silenced the class.
"But - being in a wheelchair," Schimmoeller continued, "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," Schimmoeller urged, "Do not worry about me. Your safety is my number one priority."
While Schimmoeller knew she'd put her children's safety before her own, she did not expect her students' response to her statement.
"Slowly, quietly, as the words I had said sunk in, another student raised their hand," Schimmoeller wrote.
"Mrs. Schimmoeller, we already talked about it," the girl said. "If anything happens, we are going to carry you."
That simple, heartbreaking statement brought Schimmoeller to tears.
"I lost it," Schimmoeller admitted.
That evening, the teacher shared the incident on Facebook. "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."
Check out Schimmoeller's Facebook post below.
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