High school teacher protects students with yardstick during shooting threat

Posted at 2:52 PM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 16:52:12-04

HARTFORD – It was a chaotic scene outside A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford Thursday morning as police and SWAT teams responded to a shooting threat. Inside the building, students and teachers were experiencing a different kind of chaos and fear as the school was in lockdown.

Sophomore Camani Bell took a short video on her phone while she was hiding in the corner of her classroom in silence. It captured her biology teacher guarding the door while holding a yardstick.

“I thought we were going to die, but she’s like, ‘No. I have you guys. I will protect you. Just stay calm and stay put,’” said Bell.

Bell identified the teacher as Paula Butterfield, who Bell also has for homeroom.

“She stood at the door until it was clear,” said Bell, who said she wasn’t surprised Butterfield acted that way.

After the lockdown was lifted and police had detained the student who made the threat, Bell came home and showed her mother the video.

“I had to share it,” said Bell’s mother Shamikia Pitts. “When you see good, you want to make sure that good is known.”

“I want to thank her, thank her so much because anything could have happened," Pitts said. "She did her job.”