You probably have a lot of words to describe your middle school math teacher: arthritic, geriatric, even curmudgeonly.
Whether you soared to the top of your algebra classes or, like some of us on the Collegian Editorial Board, spent your early adolescent years with your nose in a circle drawn on the blackboard, you likely wouldnâ€™t call the elderly man or woman who first taught you to use a graphing calculator a hero.
But thatâ€™s exactly what hundreds of students at Jefferson Countyâ€™s Deer Creek Middle School are saying about David Benke today.
No one has been able to determine why 32-year-old Bruco Eastwood approached Deer Creek with a bolt-action rifle or why he began shooting students in the schoolâ€™s parking lot.
But thanks to teachers Benke, Norm Hanne and Becky Brown, we also donâ€™t know how many lives Eastwood planned to take Tuesday morning.
Math teacher David Benke, who was working parking lot duty when the shooting began, first approached Eastwood after hearing what he suspected was a firecracker. After discovering that Eastwood was, in fact, carrying a rifle, the 6-foot-5 Benke tackled him, but not before another shot went off, hitting a former student of Benkeâ€™s.
Once the gunman was on the ground, Benke received aid from fellow teachers and a bus driver until police arrived.
Without their efforts, there is no telling how many children could have been killed or injured. Because these brave teachers are too modest to say it themselves, we at the Collegian are happy to say it for them: These men and women are heroes.