A kindergarten teacher in Georgia is being hailed by her community as a hero after her quick thinking brought about an end to a child abduction.
Ginger Taylor, a teacher at Westside Elementary School in Valdosta, was recently honored by the Lowndes County Board of Education and Sheriff’s Department, as well as by the standing-room-only crowd that came to applaud her.
On Friday afternoon, two men entered the property of the elementary school and proceeded to snatch a five-year-old boy from the playground.
Taylor witnessed the abduction as it was happening and rushed over to intervene. Unfortunately, she was knocked to the ground by one of the men, who then fled the scene with the child in a vehicle.
Thinking quickly, Taylor noted the license plate number, make and model of the fleeing car and immediately notified the school’s resource officer, who in turn broadcast a “be on the look out” to law enforcement agencies, including the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department.
The two suspects were caught not more than 10 minutes later near the Valdosta Regional Airport, where a rented plane was waiting to transport them to Mississippi.
The child was recovered unharmed and returned to his mother.
“Last Friday, our school faced one of the greatest fears an educator can have, and that is to have someone to take a child from our care by force,” Westside Principal Suzanne Tanner said.
“It’s unthinkable for us. We work hard to keep our children safe at all times, but it’s really hard to prepare for the unpredictable,” she added, giving credit to Taylor, the resource officer and the Sheriff’s Office for their efforts.
For her part, Taylor downplayed her role in stopping the abduction and gave credit to God after receiving a standing ovation.
“I’m honored to be recognized, but I’d like to give the glory to God,” Taylor said to an overflow crowd. “He was there for me, protecting me, the child, every teacher on the playground, all my coworkers — and without Him, the child wouldn’t be here.”
It didn’t take long for investigators to discover that one of the abductors, Michael Ray McCormick, was the boy’s non-custodial father.
McCormick lives in Mississippi, and had traveled to Georgia in the plane with friend David Scott Stapp. Once in Valdosta, they rented a vehicle and proceeded to abduct the man’s son.
Both men were taken to Lowndes County Jail and have been charged with kidnapping, simple battery on a school official and disruption of a school (H/T Mad World News).
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