Associated Press Published

Teacher in School Hostage Situation to Speak at Conference


A Barbour County teacher who helped keep students safe when a boy held a high school class hostage is set to speak at a conference.

Phillip Barbour High School teacher Twila Smith will be among the presenters Tuesday at the West Virginia Center for Professional Development’s Safe Schools Summit. It will be held at the Charleston Marriott Hotel.

Last August, a 14-year-old freshman took Smith’s class hostage at gunpoint. Smith tried to keep him and the other students calm. A teacher from another classroom alerted school administrators.

Police and the boy’s pastor ultimately talked him into giving up without harming himself or others.