Tuesday, April 24, 2012

To be the arm of justice in an unjust world

I remember when teachers only threw erasers. Sometimes a classroom would get difficult to handle for the teacher in a desperate attempt to restore order to the class, a teacher from my high school would throw, more like toss, an eraser in the general vicinity of the source of the problem. This was a rare occurrence at that. No one ever got hurt, and no one was ever scared for their lives. Manuael Dillow has taken things to new, dangerous and highly unethical level. Dillow is a teacher at a vocational teacher in Virginia. The article (link provided below) isn’t exactly clear on what was going on in the class at the time but Mr. Dillow decided it was necessary to gather the students up in a line, and pull a “blank firing handgun” from his pants, and shot several shots in the direction of students. Now, I’m not quite certain what a “blank firing gun” is supposed to mean. Is it a real firearm that was modified to only shoot blanks? Is it a toy gun that shoots something more like a cap gun would? And another question: does it matter?

Schools are supposed to be the optimal learning environments. Teachers are supposed to be professional, courteous, understanding and patient. The true professional and successful teachers of this world should be among the highest paid individuals in the world in my opinion. They are charged with the duty and responsibility of shaping and molding young minds that will be tomorrow’s leaders so to speak. School is not supposed to be a place where students have to face life threatening situations that would forever mar their mental health.

Mr. Dillow has been charged with 12 separate class 6 felonies each punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison. He has been released on a $20,000 bond. This incident happened in Abington Virginia, five years after the Virginia Tech shooting occurred.  Manuael Dillow is 60 years old and if he is convicted on all counts he will likely spend most of the rest of his natural life in prison. This situation raises questions in many areas for the education system in the country like who exactly are we hiring to essentially help raise our children? But more pertinent to our situation as criminal justice students, this situation raises questions about how to deal with these problems that seem to be happening more and more often in schools. This man had a fake gun and evidently had no intention of killing any students, but what is to stop the next teacher or student from bringing a real firearm to school with live ammunition?
This blog serves as a reminder to those currently in, and those aspiring to one day enter the criminal justice field. School shootings are happening several times a year now and are a very real threat that directly related to criminal justice and more specifically law enforcement. New types of training are constantly emerging to help law enforcement personnel deal with these tragedies in a more efficient way so as to ultimately minimize the devastating loss of life and other effects that come with school shootings. 


  1. Wow. I cannot believe that a teacher would do something so reckless and stupid. This article instantly caught my attention the minute I read that he choose to pull a gun out in a classroom setting and point it at the children. I understand that the gun was blank, but I still feel that Manuel Dillow was completely wrong. I feel that this is wrong in any profession that deals with children but is amplified by the fact that man was a school teacher. I am glad that he was prosecuted by the law as opposed to simply being fired. I hope this example sets a precedent for future teachers that are thinking about doing a similar demonstration.

  2. The scary thing about guns that fire blanks is that they still have a firing pin and mechanism that a real gun has. Bruce Lee died from a prop gun firing a piece of the blank ammunition out of the barrel. A student's life could be gone today if something unexpected went wrong. This should be an example to others who believe that something like that is perfectly harmless. He deserved getting prosecuted by the law rather than the PTA.