A 13-year-old Star Scout received the BSA’s Honor Medal for his quick thinking when a classmate brought a gun to school.
His actions protected his fellow students from harm and kept the school from having to be locked down.
The eighth-grader reported the gun to a teacher in a cleverly inconspicuous way you can read about below. The student who brought the gun was caught and expelled.
Only the teacher and principal know who turned the boy in. Because of this, the Scout’s family has asked that I not use the young hero’s name in this post.
Instead, I’ll call the Scout hero “Will,” and the young man who brought the gun will be known as “Bob.”
A tense moment in class
While walking to class one day a couple of years back, Will heard someone call his name. He turned and saw three boys pointing at him.
Looking closer, Will saw that one of the boys — Bob — was pointing a gun at him.
Will, understandably scared, turned away and hurried toward class.
“Just kidding,” Will heard one of the boys say, laughing.
When Will got to class and took his usual seat, Bob sat down next to him. This wasn’t Bob’s normal seat.
The teacher handed out the day’s test, but Will couldn’t focus knowing what was just a few feet away.
Will, steadying himself, formulated a plan. He wrote “look at the back” on his test, with an arrow beside it. On the back of the paper, he wrote “Bob has a gun in his pocket.”
Will stood up and took the test to his teacher. The teacher was calm, too, and gave Will a fresh copy of the test. The teacher revealed nothing, only saying “you need to redo this test.”
A calm resolution
The teacher then left the classroom. The teacher returned with the school resource officer, who quietly removed Bob from the class. Bob was later expelled for a year.
Later on the day of the incident, Will was talking with friends when he learned that Bob had threatened other students.
Will didn’t tell his classmates that he had turned Bob in, but he did learn that nobody else had reported the incident to an adult.
Will’s quick thinking probably prevented other students from being threatened. It may have prevented the school from being locked down — or worse.
Will, in a written report about the incident, says Scouting taught him what to do in the situation.
“I used my skills from Scouting and remembered to be brave, mentally awake and calm during a stressful situation,” he wrote.
For his bravery, Will recently received the Boy Scouts of America’s Honor Medal — given for saving or attempting to save life “at considerable risk to self.”