(Editor's note: California Senator Barbara Boxer had the following statement read into the Congressional record for Feb. 4:)
Mrs. BOXER: Mr. President, today I ask my colleagues to join me in saluting and commending Ryan Heber, Kim Fields and Mary Murphy, three educators who risked their lives to protect students in Taft, CA.
On Thursday, January 10--less than 4 weeks after the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School--a student armed with a shotgun opened fire in a classroom at Taft Union High School and wounded two of his classmates. Today, one student remains hospitalized, recovering from his injuries.
This was a tragic attack, and it is terrifying to think that it could have been even worse had it not been for the brave, swift actions of Taft science teacher Ryan Heber and campus supervisors Kim Fields and Mary Murphy.
When the shooting started, Mr. Heber responded immediately. After ushering his other students out of harm's way, he began talking the shooter into ceasing his attack. Mr. Fields, who rushed to the classroom when he heard gunfire, joined Mr. Heber in persuading the attacker to put down his gun and surrender to police when they arrived on the scene. Meanwhile, Ms. Murphy stayed calm and made sure that students quickly and safely evacuated the classroom.
Like their teacher and supervisors, the students at Taft were also very brave. They stayed calm and followed school safety measures. I commend these young people and the first responders who swiftly responded to the call for help.
The students, faculty, and staff deserve our support in the days and years ahead, and they deserve our action to help curb gun violence and ensure safety at our schools in Taft and across the country.