AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — It was just a typical day for Palo Duro High School Biology Teacher Ziggy Hood, when he noticed a student who was clearly struggling.
“After talking with him for a little bit, trying to explain to him, there’s multiple ways of doing about going about this,” said Hood, who also works as a defensive line coach for the Dons football team. “And one way was not the way which he had planned.”
Ultimately, a weapon was found on campus and a student was arrested, but a potential tragedy was avoided.
Hood credits the PD’s liaison officers for keeping the campus safe.
“Officers Matthews and Pedraza did a wonderful job that day, they protected everybody. I’m just glad that he didn’t get hurt, somebody else didn’t get hurt, or multiple people, you know, didn’t get hurt,” he said.
School leaders tell us it’s a result of training and security protocols.
“That’s the biggest thing that AISD (Amarillo Independent School District) talks about,” said Eric Mims, head football coach at PDHS. “Trainings on is just knowing who’s supposed to be where, and protecting the people that are supposed to be in keeping people off campus that aren’t supposed to be on campus.”
Mims told MyHighPlains.com that with the amount of time coaches spend around students, it can give them special insight into when things aren’t right.
“We’re around them almost more than we are with our families, and so they become our children, they become our second families, they become extensions of us. So developing those relationships with our young men and our young women really help us in identifying when their attitude has changed demeanors change. Just being able to see kids and interact with them on a daily basis lets us notice when things are not normal,” Mims explained.
One lesson Coach Hood tells young people: don’t worry about living up to other people’s standards.
And if you’re struggling with anything, “the pressures of social media and trying to live up to a certain standard. This ain’t the way to do it. Talk to somebody. If it’s not the teacher, if it’s not the counselor, if it’s not the principal, go to a local coach or go to somebody. You don’t want to make a permanent decision based off a temporary motion.”
We do want to note that Hood didn’t do the interview to put the spotlight on him, he actually wants the opposite.
He did it to send the message to area youth that there’s always someone willing to listen and help with whatever you’re struggling with.
Reach out and talk to someone, and if you see something, say something.