Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, which killed 17 people, survivors shared the stories of students and teachers who bravely sacrificed their own lives to save others. Many spoke of the bravery of Aaron Feis, a football coach at the high school, who reportedly put himself between students and the shooter to prevent more deaths.
But while coverage of the Parkland shooting has been dominated by acts of heroism, another narrative has also emerged. Last week, for instance, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel reported that high school security officer Scot Peterson never went inside the high school or tried to confront the gunman during the attack.
In his defense, Peterson has issued a statement saying he thought the gunshots were coming outside of the school, which was why he “took up a tactical position.” Nonetheless, the stories of men like Feis, contrasted with that of Peterson, prompt us to examine how we would behave in such a situation, begging the question: why are some people willing to put their own lives at risk during moments of crisis, while others seemingly shut down entirely?
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