Are We Becoming a Society that Punishes Heroes?

Written by S.C. Sherman on April 27, 2013

MH900424429What is a hero? The dictionary definition is “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” I submit that they still exist even in our sissified world of metro-men and outright fem-boys.

Recently, heroic behavior was on full display in a Florida school bus. An un-named sixteen-year-old man and two of his friends acted as heroes. They displayed great courage and acted bravely in the face of danger. They displayed distinguished and noble qualities. They are true heroes.

This sixteen-year-old man risked his own life to save another kid and a whole bus load of innocent kids. The hero was unarmed when he inserted himself into a life and death situation. The perpetrator had a loaded handgun pointed to the head of another kid on the school bus. He had been arguing with another teen and was now threatening to kill him and he had the means to do it. Our hero tackled the suspect and disarmed him. His quick thinking and action was both brave and honorable. No shots were fired. No one died and the bad kid with the loaded gun got arrested. Awesome right? Well no.

Did our wonderful public school system have a pep rally and honor our hero? Did they put up a picture of him in the hallways with the word Hero under it? No, they immediately suspended him for being involved in an incident involving a gun. Yeah, you read that right. Here it is in plain English – A teen got on the school bus with a loaded handgun, pointed it at the head of another teen and threatened to kill him. Then said hero tackles and disarms the teen with the gun, thus saving everyone’s life. The kid with the gun is arrested and then the hero kid is immediately suspended from school for being involved.

What kind of mixed message are we sending? I mean, if the hero would have been wearing red and blue spandex he would have made twenty-million at the box office rather than get kicked out of school! This kid should be honored, given a medal for bravery or something. We don’t see this in every teen out there. This was noble behavior, but instead we punish it.

I will oppose this story with another story. An adult in my hometown last week chose not to be a hero. A man and woman were having a fight in a parking lot. He was choking the woman. It was a gun free zone by the way. An innocent bystander came to the woman’s aid only to have the perpetrator pull a gun. Then the bystander put his hands up and said you win and walked off. Good luck lady, you’re on your own.

That would be known as less than heroic behavior. Behavior not noble and not distinguished, but probably what is more normal for our current state of affairs.

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S.C. Sherman
S.C. Sherman grew up a farm kid in rural Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications Studies. Steve is a business owner, and recently ran for Iowa State House of Representatives.. S.C. enjoys political commentary and great stories. He has written three fiction novels found at He currently lives with his wife and four children in North Liberty, Iowa.