Retired teacher who disarmed student argues against arming teach - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Retired teacher who disarmed student argues against arming teachers

Posted: Updated:

LISBON, Ohio - Throughout the month of February, 21 News has been focusing on the subject of "Arming America's Teachers."

Now, a retired teacher, who disarmed a student with a gun, is speaking out saying she relied on knowledge and compassion to gain control of a potentially volatile situation 12 years ago.

For Linda Robb, March 23, 2000 is a day she will never forget.

It's the day a 12-year-old named John brought a loaded gun into the classroom at McKinley Elementary School in Lisbon. He had an extra clip in his pocket.

"He just took the clip out and by the sound of him shoving that clip back up in the gun, I knew it was real," Robb said.

Looking back in the 21 News tape archive of that day, we found video of horrified parents and paramedics rushing to the school after hearing word that a sixth grader had taken his classmates hostage at gunpoint.

Robb said, "I remember the faces of the children that were on the floor; the terrifying look on their faces. Then I remember looking over at John and he just had this blank stare on his face."

Armed with only her compassion, caring and a sense of calm; the veteran school teacher knew her actions literally could mean the difference between life and death for a classroom full of children.

"I wasn't terrified at the time. I didn't feel fear really until he got up out of the chair and started walking towards me, and then I wasn't really sure what was going to happen. But I just started telling him how much I had cared about him, and I thanked him for all the times he had helped me with projects," Robb said.

The sixth grader, who later said he was tired of being picked on, collapsed into the teacher's arms and handed her the gun.

Robb made national headlines and was hailed a hero for her actions that day. She was even honored by law enforcement for her handling of the situation.

But Robb shudders to think what would have happened if she would have been armed with a gun that day.

"There is absolutely no way I could have a gun in my classroom. In this instance it would have done me no good. What if I had a gun and I walked across that hall and he saw me with a gun. What does that do to him? What does that trigger?" Robb said.

What Robb does support is early intervention and mandatory counseling for students, like the child in this case who felt he didn't belong.

"When somebody sees these problems I think that's when you react and you get them some help. You don't wait until they're adults and they're over the line and they're getting assault weapons," Robb said.

The retired teacher feels a crisis in the classroom is only more dangerous when you combat violence with violence.

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • 6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    6 hurt when truck hits Dairy Queen near Pittsburgh

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:26 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Authorities say six people were injured and a gas line was damaged after a truck crashed into a Dairy Queen in suburban Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday in Penn Hills. A witness tells the newspaper that she was able to help an employee get out through a window after a cash register fell onto her. That employee, the manager and four men in the truck were taken to hospitals. The newspaper says firefighters secur...More >>
  • UPDATED

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Ohio State marching band director fired

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:49:54 GMT
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored "serious cultural issues," some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in their underwear or participate in sexually themed stunts.More >>
  • Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:38:16 GMT
    The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.More >>
    A man who saw a plane flown by an Indiana teen who was killed during an around-the-world flight attempt says the aircraft was flying low but didn't show any obvious signs of distress before diving into the ocean off...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms