Ralph Waldo Emerson receives credit for saying, "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer."

Recently a tense five-minute period resulted in a school principal earning hero status—to me, at least.

During afternoon recess, a man appeared at the edge of an elementary school's property and tried to enter through the fence. When alert staff members approached him, he would not talk to them and, instead, began trying to open a side door into the school. The principal immediately implemented the school's lockdown procedure to protect the students. Everything up to this point followed standard procedures. Then the amazing five minutes began.

A parent who happened to be volunteering in the school could see the man outside the glass door and recognized him as a mentally challenged person who lives near the school and regularly attends her church. This description made the situation even more anxious: a man, with confirmed (although not fully understood) issues, ...

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