June 16, 2010
Teacher Who Tackled Campus Shooter to be Honored Nationally
Individuals and agencies from across the nation will be honored for their efforts to keep children safe.
ORLANDO, Fla. / Jefferson County, Colo., math teacher David Benke, who courageously tackled a school shooter at Deer Creek Middle School last February, will be honored on a national level at the National School Safety Conference being held in Orlando, Fla., July 26-30. Deer Creek Middle School, located just blocks from Columbine High School in Jefferson County, was the site of what could have been a major school campus shooting after a 32-year old male walked onto campus and opened fire on middle school students. The shooter shot and wounded two students and was looking to continue his rampage when David Benke ran and tacked the armed gunman, putting an end to a tragic event.
"This is the first case we are aware of where a teacher made a quick decision to tackle an active shooter and Mr. Benke's actions no doubt saved so many young lives that day," stated Curt Lavarello, Executive Director for the School Safety Advocacy Council (SSAC). "This is chance for the entire nation to say 'Thank you' to Mr. Benke on a national stage. David Benke deserves this day and this honor."
More than 400 school safety professionals, school resource officers, school administrators and elected leaders are expected to attend the week-long event that will also recognize several other school districts, law enforcement agencies and individuals who positively impacted school safety in their areas of the country.
Other agencies and individuals being honored for their achievements in school safety include;
• Northwest Independent School District – Fort Worth, Texas
• Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office – School Resource Officer Division – Murfreesboro, Tenn.
• Harris County Department of Education, Center for Safe & Secure Schools – Houston, Texas
• New Providence School District – New Providence Police Dept – New Providence, N.J.
• Citrus County Sheriff’s Office – Inverness, Fla.
• St. Tammany Parish Public Schools – Louisiana
• Anne Arundel County Police – School Resource Officer Unit – Anne Arundel County, Md.
• Cherokee County Schools – Canton, Ga.
• Center for Education & Employment Law - Malvern, Penn.
• Mr. Charles Mamallapalli, University Christian School – Jacksonville, Fla.
• Police Chief Jerry Chandlee, Florida School for the Deaf & Blind, St. Augustine, Fla.
• Corporal Michael Rudinski, Hyattsville City Police – Hyattsville, Md.
• Superintendent Benjamin Moss, Sutter County Schools – Yuba City, Calif.
• School Resource Officer Tony Mills, Anne Arundel County Police, Md.
• Sgt. Michael McHenry, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Anaheim, Calif.
The National School Safety Conference will be held the week of July 26-30 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek/Waldorf Astoria located adjacent to Walt Disney's EPCOT Center in Orlando, Fla. Members of the media are invited to attend and should request press credentials through the SSAC.
For additional information call 941-232-4633 or go to www.SCHOOLSAFETY911.com.
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