"I saw Alan trying to get hold of a guy and then there was a big explosion," said Henry Ames, who is a senior teacher at the school. The target of the bomber was the morning assembly of approximately four hundred fifty students, Ames said.
Thousands of people thronged his home since the incident to praise his valor and to offer condolences to his family. "He has left his family grieving, but has prevented many others from that fate," said his teacher, a sentiment echoed by his father earlier.
Okay. His name wasn't Alan. It was Aitzaz. And the school he saved is in Pakistan, not Pennsylvania. His teacher wasn't Henry Ames. His name is Habib Ali.
Does this make the story any more or less heroic? Does it make the story any less tragic? Suicide bombings of schools happen with some frequency in Pakistan. The reason given for the attacks is usually something about religious intolerance, and how girls should not be allowed in school. It's hard to imagine a world in which sending your daughter to school is a matter of life and death. That is why we have heroes like Aitzaz Hasan. And Malala Yousafzai, an outspoken advocate of educating girls when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head and neck. Malala was fifteen when that happened. So outraged were the Pakistani people that a group of fiftyIslamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against the Taliban gunmen who tried to kill Yousafzai.We can only assume that the Pakistani branch of the NRA is calling for "good guys with plastic explosive strapped to them" to patrol the hallways of its nation's schools.
How about one courageous teenager?