The Jacksonville, Florida community is grieving the recent murder a veteran educator at Episcopal High School. In a tragic course of events, Head Master / Principal – Dale Regan – was shot by a teacher who was dismissed / terminated earlier in the day. After being terminated from his position with the school, Shane Schumerth – age 28 – packed an AK-47 in a guitar case. He entered the administrative office for the school and then shoot Regan several times. Thereafter, S Schumerth ended his own life. News report indicated that no children were injured or put in harm’s way as a result of this Florida Murder Suicide. Mr. Schumerth previously taught in the Duval County School System. For early, initial reports of this incident, it does not appear that Schumerth had any prior disciplinary issues in the private or public school systems.
When tragic incidents like this take place, parents often assess and re-assess the teachers and administrators in place. It is quite unsettling that a teacher, who went through years of college and trainining, would act in such a reckless and destructive manner. It is clear that Schumerth does not represent the community and staff of teachers at Episcopal or the Duval County School System. In fact, the average tenure of teachers on staff at Episcopal is almost 20 years in length. Unfortunately, there are teachers and coaches in place in schools that may be unstable and dangerous to other staff members, parents, and / or students.
The tragic death of Dale Regan, who dedicated decades to the education and mentoring of Jacksonville school children, will certainly have an impact on the school, church, and the community. Hopefully, her words of wisdom and acts good deeds will live through the efforts and dedication of the teachers, staff, and students who learned so much from her.