BOISE, Idaho — A math teacher whose embrace is credited with halting a school shooting in eastern Idaho last year was recognized by the governor during his Monday State of the State address.
The shooting happened May 6 at Rigby Middle School when a sixth-grade girl opened fire, wounding two classmates and a custodian.
Krista Gneiting directed her classroom to safety before approaching the shooter, gently taking the gun out of her hand, and wrapping her in a hug. The girl was taken into custody by arriving police officers a short time later.
All three victims survived the shooting.
Gneiting was honored by Gov. Brad Little, who led lawmakers in applause for her actions.
"Krista calmly took the gun away from a little girl in crisis, and then held her in her arms until police arrived," Little said. "Krista, please stand so we can recognize you for protecting everyone in the building that day and for your compassion with that sixth-grade girl."
Little pointed to the shooting as he unveiled proposed investments in behavioral health help in his 2022-2023 state budget. The proposal calls for funding for exisiting recovery centers as well as new community behavioral health clinics, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, and youth crisis centers. The state’s suicide prevention line would also be converted to the national mental health crisis line under the proposed budget.
"As I know Krista can attest, there is a strong connection between safe communities and access to behavioral health resources for Idahoans of all ages. Today, I am proposing we accelerate the implementation of the Behavioral Health Council’s recommendations by investing $50 million to improve behavioral healthcare across Idaho," Little said. "It is one step of many we will take to help prevent tragedy, improve lives, and make our communities safer."
The sixth-grader was ultimately charged in the Rigby shooting. Because she is a juvenile, her case is sealed.
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