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Future Teachers Face New Realities At School After Sandy Hook Tragedy

5:33 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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High Point, N.C. - We've told you stories about the heroic teachers in Newtown who did everything they could to save students' lives. Some even sacrificed their own lives.

Our country has struggled to encourage people to become teachers. The pay isn't great. The hours are long. Now, the fear of danger is all too real.

People become teachers because they love working with children and helping them learn and grow. Today's teachers realize they're also signing up to protect their students.

Rebekah Hollar is a High Point University student. She graduates in May and will become a teacher in the Triad next fall.

"When I heard about Sandy Hook Elementary, my immediate reaction was, 'That could have been me,'" she said. "I honor and respect the teachers to the utmost degree because they didn't hesitate. There was not a moment where they thought, 'Should I respond? What should we do?'"

High Point University Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Dustin Johnson said, "In a situation like this, to be quite honest, it's difficult to be proactive. Teachers become more reactive. That's why it was just so touching when I heard how those teachers responded in Connecticut."

Dr. Johnson is a former principal. He says the shootings at Sandy Hook will change the way our education system works.

"I know that in my undergrad courses now, I will place more of an emphasis for my students on being more aware of school safety and how to respond in a crisis situation," Dr. Johnson said. "Teachers have mentioned to me they believe they should be allowed to carry arms to school. I can definitely sense some fear, anger from teachers...If we can find tens of millions of dollars... to continue to fund these initiatives related to testing and accountability, I also believe we can find the funding to place security guards in all of our schools."

Hollar admits the dangers at schools could scare off future and current teachers. However, she refuses to let the tragedy in Connecticut stand in the way of her childhood dream to become a teacher.

Hollar added, "Yes, the fear is there, but I feel well-prepared in knowing how to develop myself as a strong leader."

WFMY News 2

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