Marissa Schimmoeller teaches English at a high school in Ohio. She also happens to use a wheelchair.

As you may expect, Schimmoeller was on edge returning to work after the horrifying shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida. "As the first students walked in, I began to feel the anxiety pooling in my stomach," she recollected from those first tense moments starting a new day.

But Schimmoeller was dreading one question specifically because she uses a wheelchair: "Mrs. Schimmoeller, what will we do if a shooter comes in your room?"

Photo courtesy of Marissa Schimmoeller.


Inevitably, the question was asked.

"My stomach sank," Schimmoeller wrote in a Facebook post on Feb. 15. "I launched into my pre-planned speech about our plan of action."

But then came the more difficult part of her answer, she noted — the part she'd especially been dreading.

"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 assured them. "But, being in a wheelchair, I will not be able to protect you the way an able-bodied teacher will."

She continued: "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."

[rebelmouse-image 19532688 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption="Photo via Shopify/Burst." expand=1]Photo via Shopify/Burst.

That's when her students brought her to tears.

"Slowly, quietly, as the words I had said sunk in, another student raised their hand," the teacher wrote in her post. "She said, 'Mrs. Schimmoeller, we already talked about it. If anything happens, we are going to carry you.'"

"I lost it," Schimmoeller concluded in her post, which has amassed more than 33,000 likes and nearly 19,000 shares as of publication.

Today was really hard for me. Today was the first time I had to teach the day after a mass school shooting. I dreaded...

Posted by Marissa Schimmoeller on Thursday, February 15, 2018

"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."

Photo via Marissa Schimmoeller.

Schimmoeller's big-hearted students are truly good. They're incredibly thoughtful. They care.

They're also having to think about things no teenager should: how to help their teacher (and themselves) survive a mass shooting.

That's not OK. That's not normal.

We are better than this.

You can support students taking action against gun violence at March for Our Lives or visit Everytown for Gun Safety to learn more and act.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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