by David Safier

More details are coming out about the shooting at Taft Union High School near Bakersfield. One student was injured (not two, it seems, as was reported earlier) by a 16 year old student with a shotgun and 20 rounds of ammunition in his pocket. The victim is in critical but stable condition. It's possible there would have been more carnage if a teacher and a campus supervisor hadn't stepped in and put their own lives at risk.


When the shots were fired, the teacher began trying to get the more than two dozen students out a back door and also engaged the shooter in conversation to distract him, Youngblood said. A campus supervisor responding to a call of shots fired also began talking to him.

"They talked him into putting the shotgun down," Youngblood said.

The sheriff said that at one point the shooter told the teacher, "I don't want to shoot you" and named the person he wanted to shoot.

I've talked with other teachers about this kind of thing. None of us knows how we would react at moments like this, but we agreed, our natural instinct as teachers is to act like parents, putting our students' safety before our own. It's not in our contracts or our job descriptions. It's part of what makes us go into the profession. It's part of the love we develop toward our students.

A FEW SIDE NOTES: The school normally has an armed officer on campus, but the officer was snowed in and couldn't make it to school. Also, the gun used is described as a shotgun, probably not something that would come under any ban of the sale of assault-style weapons. We don't know how the student go ahold of the gun.