In relation to the story about the shooting at Douglas High School, what am I missing (“Douglass shooting no reason to revisit arming school police?” Feb. 12)?
The year was 1973. We were sitting in French class at Western High School with Mrs. Weinholtz as the teacher. An announcement came over the intercom for teachers to put children in the classrooms and to lock the doors. We had no idea what was going on. Was there a rapist in the building? A murderer? A fight? We were mildly concerned, mostly curious. We looked out of the windows overlooking the quadrangle and saw about five or six cops with their guns drawn and ready to shoot. Mrs. Weinholtz closed the blinds so we couldn’t see anymore. But we could hear. We heard noises that some thought were window shades flapping and others thought were machine guns being blasted.
What happened was that a school janitor went crazy and grabbed a butcher’s knife from the cafeteria and swung it through the halls. He slashed one security guard’s wrist and stabbed another’s stomach. One poor girl hadn’t heard the announcement and the janitor grabbed her and held her hostage in a custodial closet for quite a long time. Somehow, the girl was released and the cops shot the janitor to death. Many shot him at the same time.
When we were dismissed, we actually walked past the outline of the dead janitor’s form and blood still on the floor!
I’m not sure it made the news that night. We were not dismissed early. We went to school the next day and we had no counseling.
It seems excessive to me for Douglass students to miss an entire week of school. No one was killed, thank goodness, and the suspect was apprehended immediately.