NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—What more can a child hope for than for guardians who act on their instinct to protect and to help others?
As a result of some swift heroics and teamwork by six faculty members at the Paul Robeson School, their colleague is still alive and undeniably grateful after suffering a nearly fatal seizure on the morning of November 9.
While one staff member hurried to call 911, another performed CPR and two others administered shocks with an AED machine after their coworker became unresponsive.
Both the school’s guidance counselor and social worker collaborated to keep the children as calm and as organized as possible.
The New Brunswick Board of Education honored these six people at a ceremony at the November 17 board meeting: nurse Claudette Grant, teacher Lisa Stine, subsitute teacher Karin Kanaris, guidance counselor Roxy Lockhart, social worker Astrid Corcelles, and pre-K teacher Nydia Adorno.
The essential roles teachers play in the lives of their students earns them the title of everyday heroes.
But when young students witness their role models acting selflessly and bravely to save the life of a fellow staff member, the heroism jumps to a whole new level.
In the era of lockdown drills and bomb threats, when children have to prepare for the possibility of school shootings or acts of terror, it is getting increasingly difficult for children to feel safe at school.
Their right to feel protected within the walls of their school might be dwindling, but this recent act of selflessness gives the opposite impression.
“The actions of these staff members were nothing short of inspirational. In the face of an extremely frightening and stressful situation, there was no hesitation,” said Aubrey Johnson, the superintendent of New Brunswick Public Schools.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.