Teacher in a Wheelchair Breaks Down Over Her Students' "Plan" in Case of a Shooting

Marissa Schimmoeller, a mom and English teacher at Delphos Jefferson High School in Ohio, is just as concerned about school shootings as any other educator; however, she admits that being in a wheelchair makes the threat of an active gunman entering the school that much more terrifying. In a post shared by Her View From Home, Marissa explained that the day after the Florida shooting, one of her students asking what she'd do if there was an intruder made her squirm.

Today was really hard for me. Today was the first time I had to teach the day after a mass school shooting. I dreaded facing my students this morning, and as the first students walked in, I began to feel the anxiety pooling in my stomach. I was dreading one specific question. Soon after class began, a freshman asked me the question I had been dreading since I had heard about the tragedy in Florida. "Mrs. Schimmoeller," she asked. "What will we do if a shooter comes in your room?"

Marissa launched into a previously prepared speech, saying that protocol for her class might be a little different compared to those of the classrooms of teachers who weren't in wheelchairs. But she reassured the teenagers that as a teacher, she always has their best interests in mind, emergency situation or not.

"I want you to know that I care deeply about each and every one of you and that I will do everything I can to protect you," she wrote. "But being in a wheelchair, 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. Do not worry about me. Your safety is my number one priority."

After letting her own words "sink in," one of her students raised her hand and told Marissa not to worry because the class had already come up with a plan in case the unthinkable were to happen. "She said: 'Mrs. Schimmoeller, we already talked about it. If anything happens, we are going to carry you.'"

In that moment, Marissa broke down. "I lost it," she wrote. "With tears in my eyes as I type this, 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."