A brave and compassionate teacher disarmed a school shooter then hugged her until police arrived
via Good Morning America / YouTube

Two weeks ago, a girl in the sixth grade at Rigby Middle School in Idaho, brought a gun to school and shot three people. Fortunately, the two students and custodian who were shot all survived and are recovering.

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting, a hero has emerged that everyone should know about, teacher Krista Gneiting. In an amazing feat of bravery and compassion, she disarmed the girl and then hugged her until police arrived. Her quick thinking and composure may have saved countless lives.

Gneiting was preparing her students for final exams in her classroom when a shot rang out down the hallway. She looked outside the door, saw the custodian lying on the ground, and then heard two more shots.


"So I just told my students, 'We are going to leave, we're going to run to the high school, you're going to run hard, you're not going to look back and now is the time to get up and go,'" Gneiting told Good Morning America.

While Gneiting was trying to help one of the students who was shot, she noticed the girl standing a few feet away with the gun. She told the injured student to stay still and she bravely approached her.

While most people's instincts would be to run or react violently, she calmly walked toward her.

"It was a little girl, and my brain couldn't quite grasp that," she said. "I just knew when I saw that gun, I had to get the gun."

"Are you the shooter?" she asked. Then she grasped the girl's arm, pulled it slowly down her sleeve, and took the gun from her.

"I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand, and she allowed me to. She didn't give it to me, but she didn't fight," Gneiting said. "And then after I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn't realize she's having a breakdown and she's hurting people."

She then held the young girl tightly and consoled her until police arrived.


Hero teacher who stopped Idaho school shooting breaks silence l GMA www.youtube.com


"After a while, the girl started talking to me, and I could tell she was very unhappy," Gneiting said. "I just kept hugging her and loving her and trying to let her know that we're going to get through this together. I do believe that my being there helped her because she calmed down."

When police arrived she was placed in handcuffs.

"She didn't respond, she just let him. He was very gentle and very kind, and he just went ahead and took her and put her in the police car," she said.

Gneiting knew that the girl was obviously in serious psychological and emotional pain and instead of exacerbating it, she showed her incredible compassion. Because, after all, she's a child.

Now, Gneiting believes the focus should be on the girl's mental health instead of punishment.

"She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes," she told ABC News. "I think we need to make sure we get her help and get her back into where she loves herself so that she can function in society."

The girl has been charged in the shooting but no further details are available because she's a juvenile.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
True

Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

As it turns out, underdog stories can have cats as the main character.

Purrington Cat Lounge, where "adoptable cats roam freely and await your visit" and patrons can pay a small entry fee for the chance to sip coffee alongside feline friends, boasted legendary adoption rates since its conception in January 2015.


Keep Reading Show less