Good People Doing Good Things — A Hodgepodge

The first two stories about good people today should never have happened.  Anywhere but the United States, they wouldn’t have happened.  That said, I’m so glad these two good people were in the right place at the right time and kept their cool, likely saving many children’s lives.

A busjacking

Kenneth Corbin just took a routine training class to keep his school bus driving skills current. One of the topics they covered was what to do if your vehicle gets hijacked.  Days later, that lesson came in handy when an armed gunman boarded his bus and ordered him to drive.

A surveillance video shows the South Carolina driver holding out his hands as the man, an Army trainee who was later identified as Jovan Collazo, pushed his way onto the bus and brandished a rifle. Kenneth calmly put the vehicle in gear and began to drive as Jovan kept the gun aimed straight at him.

When the gunman moved all the children inside to the front of the bus, it was their inquisitive nature that finally wore him down. The kids began peppering Jovan with questions.

“Are you an Army man? Are you going to hurt us? Are you going to hurt our driver?”

Kenneth believes it was their questions that eventually made Jovan demand that Kenneth pull over and unload his young passengers. He had only driven about 4 miles when the hijacker “got frustrated with the questions” and aborted his terrifying mission.

“At the very end, the kids were the ones who got the gentleman off the bus. They pretty much had my back as much as my concern was for them.”

The hijacking only lasted about six minutes, but it was more than enough to leave a lasting impression on their entire community. Kenneth was instantly hailed as a hero for the calm, deliberate way he handled the crisis.

South Carolina officials presented Kenneth with an award for his heroism, and school board member Dr. Teresa Holmes celebrated Kenneth’s calm under pressure.

“Our School Board and Richland Two School District paid honor to this wonderful man and his wife.  His bravery and his kids’ bravery in the face of danger means so much to everyone in the community. Please thank him.”

Kenneth, however, refuses to take all the credit for the positive outcome of this scary situation. He insists that his kids “had his back” as much as he had theirs. Sounds like something a true hero would say, doesn’t it?

Courage + Compassion

Earlier this month at Rigby Middle School in the small town of Rigby, Idaho, a 12-year-old girl took a loaded gun to school, opened fire, and hit three people.  Krista Gneiting, a math teacher at the school, was preparing her students for their final exams on the morning of May 6th when she said she heard a gunshot from down the hall. She said she looked outside her classroom and saw the school’s janitor lying on the floor at the end of the hallway. She shut the door as she heard two more gunshots.

“So I just told my students, ‘We are going to leave, we’re going to run to the high school, you’re going to run hard, you’re not going to look back, and now is the time to get up and go.'”

Gneiting said she was trying to help one of the students who had been shot when she saw the girl holding the gun. She told the wounded student to stay still and approached the sixth-grader.

“It was a little girl, and my brain couldn’t quite grasp that. I just knew when I saw that gun, I had to get the gun.”

She asked the girl, “Are you the shooter?” and then walked closer, putting her hand on the child’s arm and sliding it down to the gun.

“I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand, and she allowed me to. She didn’t give it to me, but she didn’t fight. And then after I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn’t realize she’s having a breakdown and she’s hurting people.”

Gneiting held the girl, consoling her until police arrived.  How many lives might have been lost if Ms. Gneiting had not reacted with such calm and compassion?  We will never know.  Ms. Gneiting’s brother-in-law had this to say in a Facebook post …

What a courageous and compassionate teacher!

Little things mean a lot

Dr. Troy Littleton is a professor of neuroscience at MIT.  Littleton runs a research lab at the college, and one of his graduate students has a 10-month-old baby that sometimes makes it difficult for her to be at work in the lab for 6-8 hours a day.  Dr. Littleton solved the problem … he bought a small crib to put in the lab for baby Katie!

In a tweet, Dr. Littleton said …

“My favorite new equipment purchase for the lab – a travel crib to go in my office so my graduate student can bring her 9-month old little girl to work when necessary and I get to play with her while her mom gets some work done. Win-win!!”

A small thing, sure, but to me it shows the heart inside of the man.

33 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — A Hodgepodge

  1. My five year old grandson would have talked that hijacker off the bus in ONE minute!
    Mothers have always taken their babies to work, from the paddy fields to the cotton mills, so why not modern jobs – until they start walking!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha … I hear you! When my granddaughter was that age, she could do the same! You’re so right … before the days of expensive daycare, mothers had little enough choice. Still … I think I would have found it distracting having my baby at work with me.


  2. No words for this except to say that culture and education have alot to do with how people respond in all situations, as my CPR training showed me my last year of Jr. ROTC back in DC.

    Or, as the Jesuits apparently say: “Give us a boy for the first seven years, and the man is ours for life.”

    Education for the cultural Long Term matters…


    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, like you I loved the third story, but the first two were the more important. Would I have had the courage to approach the girl with the gun and simply take it, then hug her? I don’t know … I don’t think so, but then, we never know how we will react when confronted with a situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, it takes a special kind of nerve to do what she did. Yet, I read in “Half the Sky” of women known for their kind-heartedness face up to and turn away armed soldiers looking for innocents on the opposing side who were hiding in their homes. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Some people don’t know what they’d do under fire but it seems where children are concerned, most measure up. Some are resourceful, some are brave and some are heroes because of their kindness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Perhaps knowing that one is responsible for the life of a child increases the adrenaline and allows one to act more calmly. Like you, I don’t know what I might have done in either circumstance, but these two are heroes in my book, for I don’t think I’d have had the courage either of them showed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! Thats great, they really saved lives. But how horrible is it, looking on a 12-year-old girl, with a loaded gun? The same with a former soldier, hijacking a bus.??? Thanky ou for sharing, this happy ended stories, Jill! For sure, without “guns for everyone” this never would have happened. ;-( As i heared in our news here, Texas has passed the law, for much gun wearing in public. There really is something like a “John-Wayne-Revival-Party”. ;-/ Have a beautiful day! Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, they were both heroes for keeping their heads, not responding to violence with violence, which would probably have gotten children killed. But, these two incidents should NEVER have happened! The gun culture here is beyond insane! Yes, Texas passed a law saying that people can carry a gun anywhere they go without … WITHOUT even a license or background check! What sort of madness is that??? Only in the U.S. do guns matter more than lives. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Right now the USA needs more Kenneths (and the kids on the bus) and Kistras (what’s the other solution? Pull a semi-automatic on a confused 12 year-old?…What’s your response NRA?)
    Dr. Troy Littleton counts as a saint and gets a rewards to looking after one seriously cute tot.

    Liked by 2 people

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