Mt. Tabor Hight School Shooting

Start Date: 2021-09-07

Description: High School shooting involving one shooter and one victim. The victim passed away at a local hospital and the shooter fled from the police, was apprehended later. HOPE teams were asked to be present to support students in the first days back from this event. Students were visibly withdrawn, visibly shaking, crying and scared. Some students were non-verbal and some could not return. HOPE teams visited with students and teachers directly and indirectly affected by this incident. Words from the students: "I didn't expect this to help, but it really did." "This made my day." "My heart has been captured." "Oh look she knows you need comfort." (Willa was leaning against another girl) "Being with the dogs made it easier to come back to school." "Thank you for walking me to my class." (Maggie walked one of the students through the hall where the incident happened- he was unable to do this previously) There were some special interactions like the young woman having a panic attack. She was very tearful, shaking all over and rigid. Through coaching and petting Maggie, she was able to slow her breathing and relax. This interaction took place on two different days. The goal was to get the student to the school without having a panic attack. The counselors and mental health providers thanked us profusely for being there and supporting everyone. We experienced an abundance of gratitude and praise for how well-behaved and calm the dogs were. The counselors were also to have our dogs provide comfort, but also be the catalyst for students to express their emotions. This four-day deployment allowed teams to visit with more than 1,000 individuals, total working time 59 hours; total travel time 14 hours and 50 minutes. I am honored to serve this community with these folks.

Agency: Winston-Salem, Forsyth County School
Teams: Don Henza and Willa; Kris Batchelor and Cooper; Rebecca Getchel and Willa