There are two kinds of
who have had a crisis....
those who will.
“A School Day Horror”
By Dr. Nancy Blackwelder
Thursday, February 11, 1988, during the lunchtime chaos
at a suburban high school in Florida, Assistant
Principal Nancy Blackwelder was shot, point blank, by an
enraged student wielding a stolen 38-caliber police
revolver. It started with a tip that a student had
brought a gun to school; it ended in a bloody shoot out
in front of two thousand horrified witnesses.
McCoy, the boy believed to be carrying the gun, had
tried to run away from another administrator who had
tackled the student and was trying to hold him on the
ground. Nancy spied the scuffle and ran to her
partner's assistance. She tossed her two-way radio
aside, grabbed the boy around the waist and tried to
diffuse the escalating situation:
Jason. Stop fighting me honey. Calm down. Don’t fight
she held on and prayed for more help, she felt someone
else violently yank her hair and her shoulder and hit
her on the head. She thought,
the world would have the nerve to do that?", as she saw
another student run off and disappear into the throng.
moments her longtime friend and partner, Dick Allen,
rushed to the scene and she heard someone scream, "Go
for it, Dick!"
started to turn, but froze in place with the cracking
sound of gunfire as she thought, “Who's got a gun?
We're holding Jason right here.”
second shot rang out which sent students screaming,
tipping over lunch tables for cover and crawling on
their hands and knees to escape the line of fire.
thanked God that the students were getting out of the
way she cried, "Who's shooting?" That's when the bullet
by the pain searing throughout her stomach, thigh and
hip, she released her grip on Jason McCoy, but seconds
later, when she turned to face her assailant, Nancy
Blackwelder stared into the barrel of a gun. She knew
that the screaming boy with the ugly contorted face was
going to shoot her again and if he did that she would
surely die. As she searched for cover, she began to
drag her injured body across the lunchroom floor in a
slow-motion nightmare of shock and disbelief.
when she saw the convulsing form on the floor in the
distance. The closer she got, the sicker she felt.
First, she gasped at the huge puddle of blood. Next,
she noticed the gaping bullet hole in the middle of his
forehead. She closed her eyes tightly for a second
hoping the image would disappear, but when she opened
them again it was still there. She cursed the vision,
then reached out to the quivering mass that once was her
friend, Dick Allen.
the beginning of sixteen months of havoc and hell for
Nancy Blackwelder, a 35-year-old educator from Pinellas
County, Florida. The death of a friend and gun shot
holes in her body were vivid reminders of the start of a
dark decade for herself and her family.
would like to order a copy of this book at $50 ( inc S&H
) per copy,
check or money order to:
Beach, FL, 33736
make checks payable to Nancy Blackwelder
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