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Students Protect Their Teacher
Debbie's Spanish students were finishing up their exams when suddenly the door to their classroom burst open. Debbie's estranged husband, Ted, charged towards her with an 8-inch butcher knife. "There was no doubt in my mind, looking into his eyes and seeing the fury of hell there, that he intended to kill me," says Debbie. "I began to shout, 'Get out, kids. Get out. Call 911. Get help. Get an administrator.'"

As her students sprang into action, Debbie tried to defend herself and was injured. "At that point I realized I needed more help than I knew," Debbie says. "And I said, 'Guys, pin him, now!' They weren't waiting for an invitation. They were there immediately." Scott, Austin and Nimesh (clockwise above) grabbed Ted and restrained him until the police arrived. Debbie says without the intervention of these brave boys, "there's no doubt in my mind that I would have been killed." How did the incident affect the young heroes?

Scott: The incident really changed how I look at my life and how I look at life, but it really hasn't changed my everyday, how I live my life.

Nimesh: [My father] was a little shocked that I had actually done something like this, because, looking at me, I'm not one to jump on someone's back. Every time I see him, and he tells someone the story, he's always got a big smile on his face. I feel like I finally made him proud for once.

Austin: All the little things that I used to take for granted in life I really cherish more, because now I know how easily they can be taken away from me. I mean, it can be anything from my mom cooking me breakfast to, you know, being able to drive to work or something. I just, I cherish everything. And I'm thankful that I have it.

Debbie's ex-husband Ted has been sentenced to jail for 15 years.
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FROM: Meet the Heroes in the Headlines
Published on December 01, 2004

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