Megan Silberberger, a first year social studies teacher from a sleepy town just outside of Seattle, Washington, has become our most recent national chalkboard hero. This fearless educator courageously confronted teen gunman Jaylen Fryberg while he was firing bullets at a group of students eating lunch in the crowded cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School on Friday, October 24. By the time the melee was over, Fryberg had killed one student and severely wounded four others, and was himself dead. But according to eyewitness accounts, the heroic teacher’s confrontation prevented what could have been a bigger massacre.
Erick Cervantes, a student at the school, described the attack and the action Megan took to protect the panicking students. “She heard the gunshots first and she came in running through the door, right next to it,” Cervantes said. “It started off with an argument, but then I looked back and there was just gunshots and just people falling down. She heard the gunshots first and she came in running through the door, right next to it. It wasn’t [a] wrestle. She just grabbed his arm, and it lasted like two seconds, and I heard another shot,” Erick added. That last shot, Cervantes reported, resulted in Jaylen Fryberg’s death from a self-inflicted wound.
Educator Randy Davis, president of the Marysville Education Association, said he taught at the school for twenty years and knows Megan Silberberger. He reported she was a student teacher last year and had just started her first year as a social studies teacher at the school. Davis described Silberberger as “your classic first-year teacher with high enthusiasm, a lot of passion for what she does.” He said he was “very proud of her efforts and her motivations.”
Megan Silberberger: a true chalkboard hero.