Frank Hall insists he’s just a football coach and a study hall teacher, not a hero.
But what else do you call someone who, as students crouched for cover and ran for their lives after bullets rang out in the Chardon High School cafeteria, ran at the shooter? Who kept on chasing him, out the door of the Ohio school, during which witnesses reported another shot being fired? And who, after all that, headed back into the cafeteria to comfort the victims?
Joseph Ricci, a math teacher at the school. Kaylee O’Donnell, a 10th-grader, recalled how Ricci shut the door to his classroom, told students to crouch down at the front of the room, then went into a locker and pulled out a bullet-proof vest.
Then, she said, Ricci put on the vest and left the room. Soon thereafter, he brought one of the shooting victims inside the room, talking to him and trying to reassure him until more help came.
“Teachers say … their job is, if somebody comes in and shoots, they will put their life on the line,” said O’Donnell, describing Ricci as someone who is “honest, he’s trustworthy (and) you can go to him for anything.”
“You never know it until it actually happens. He showed us, instead of told us. That really amazes me, how brave he was.”
These people did things they did not have to do. They could have stayed down, hiding. Instead, they willingly risked their lives to take the initiative against the threat. That is heroic.