Sandy middle school trying to recover from school shooting
(KUTV) A Sandy middle school still reeling from a tragic shooting get's a message of hope today, from a man who knows something about being bullied.
Lance Allred, who was born deaf, became the very first deaf player to make it to the NBA. He retired last year and now speaks to kids as a motivational speaker.
"We are going to take one very long breath and hold it for ten seconds," he told the group of sixth through eighth graders gathered for the special assembly. "You got a lot of emotions in here and we are going to work through them."
It was Tuesday afternoon at Union Middle School when police say a 14-year-old student met up with a 16-year-old sophomore from Hillcrest High School and shot him.
Witnesses said the 14-year-old boy shot the 16-year-old twice.
Many are saying the motive was bullying, but investigators say they are still investigating.
The principal of the school says they wanted to end the week right so they decided to have a more up-beat day.
So they had Halloween costume day, a school dance and the assembly.
"We debated, 'do you go on and have this great big fun light hearted day after this week?' Said Kelly Tauteoli the principal. She says the answer was yes. "We just really felt like the faculty needed it the kids needed it, it was just really important I think."
Allred told the students he was constantly bullied for not being able to hear when he was growing up.
"I was a huge target of bullying," said Allred. "I didn't like myself I didn't want to live."
But Allred said he became successful because he didn't give up.
"Every time you get knocked down do you choose to get back up? People inflict pain because they are in pain."
Allred hoped he could teach kids how to handle aggression.
"Our instinct is to go into defense mode and inflict pain right back. Remember this, compassion, compassion protects you," said Allred.
The school district said the 16-year-old still remains in serious but stable condition and the Salt Lake County District Attorney said they are still trying to decide whether or not to charge the 14-year-old as an adult.