FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN)–A local middle school teacher is receiving an outpouring of “thank yous” after taking a gun away from her 6th-grade student.
Fuquay-Varina Middle School went into Code Red lockdown Thursday morning after Wake County School District officials said a student fired a gun inside a classroom Thursday.
“I fully believe that the reason that situation on Thursday ended the way that it did is because my student knew I loved him, my student knew he was safe,” said Guilliams.
Guilliams said she was in the hallway helping students with their lockers when the school went into the lockdown. She said she rushed students into her classroom and told them to bend down in the corner. She said one student was still sitting at his desk and when she said to get down he showed her a gun.
“For a second he was scary, but just for a second, I blinked again and he’s my student, he’s 12 years old, he’s in my classroom and he can’t have that,” Guilliams said.
She said she then asked him what he was holding and he said it was a gun.
“I said you’re staying right there I’m coming to take it, I’m taking it from you right now” Guilliams said. “So, I walked over and I took it from him, he did not point it at me, he did not threaten me in any way. I kicked into teacher mode and he kicked into student mode.”
After she told administrators she had the gun. Guilliams says she then went into teacher mode and stayed with the student for hours telling him she cares about him, loves him, and that they will get through this.
Guilliams said she’s not surprised she was in a situation like this given years of lockdowns at different schools she’s taught at, bomb threats, and societal changes. Among the changes Guilliams wants to see is emotional education, school crisis counselors, and law enforcement agencies doing more specific training for teachers.
“Do I think that we need metal detectors in school, do I think that we need more gun control, I don’t think those are the answers,” Guilliams said. “I think we need to really support out students, support our community, long before they reach for a gun,” Guilliams said.
She did not return to school Monday.
“I’m not afraid of walking in the building, but I don’t feel that the situation has changed, since Wednesday the day before and today,” Guilliams said.
She said her husband and children are not comfortable with her going back in.
Guilliams said she’s not sure what the future holds, first she wants to see a counselor through her employee assistance program to process the trauma and learn how her student who brought a gun to class is doing.