Skip Soper (shown below) and his wife are happily retired now in The Villages, Florida, but if you ask, he can still recall what happened to him on March 11, 1970. As a fresh-out-of-college rookie math teacher at Wisconsin Dells High School, he was taking attendance that morning when a student walked into his room carrying a shotgun. The student's older brother had been beaten up by three boys, and their younger siblings were in Soper's class. As Souper recalls, "He came in with a gun to kill those three students."
photo by Amy Correnti, Daily Sun
In college, Souper was in ROTC and experienced prisoner-of-war role playing. Now the training paid off. First, he convinced with boy with the gun to release all the students and keep him instead as a hostage. As soon as the other kids were gone, Souper let the gunman sit at his desk, the position of authority. They talked about fishing and hunting and hobbies, and after two hours Souper convinced the student to put down the gun without a struggle. Later that year, Souper received a plaque -- the Key Club Teacher of the Year Award -- which he still has. Best of all, the incident didn't tempt him to change careers. He taught 35 more years before retiring.