A courageous and quick-thinking Georgia elementary school teacher stopped a little girl from being abducted from the school playground.
Ginger Taylor, an elementary school teacher at Westside Elementary School in Valdosta, Georgia is being honored as a hero after thwarting an abduction on Friday, August 14.
It has been reported that the disturbing incident happened around 2:00 p.m. Two male suspects walked onto the property and grabbed the 5-year-old from the playground. Taylor, who reportedly witnessed the series of events unfold, immediately rushed over to intervene, but one of the suspects shoved her to the ground.
Although the suspects managed to get away with the child, Taylor’s efforts to save the child did not cease. She immediately contacted the school’s resource officers, also a Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office deputy, about the incident and provided the license plate number for the suspects’ vehicle.
A sheriff’s office immediately dispatched a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) alert for the vehicle to both county deputies and regional regional law enforcement to ensure the vehicle would be found in a timely fashion. The alert proved to be highly effective, and it definitely didn’t take long for local authorities to track the suspects.
According to WCTV, approximately 10 minutes after the alert was dispatched, a deputy spotted the vehicle near the Valdosta Regional Airport. Several deputies immediately stopped traffic and were able to remove the child from the vehicle.
The suspects, Michael McCormick and David Stapp, both from Mississippi, were arrested and booked into the Lowndes County Jail. After further investigation, local authorities learned that McCormick is actually the non-custodial parent of the little girl. McCormick has been charged with kidnapping, simple battery on a school official, and disruption of a school. Stapp is reportedly considered an accomplice but also facing the same charges.
Now, Taylor is being honored for her actions. If she hadn’t intervened, local authorities wouldn’t have had any information to local the suspects’ vehicle, which could have led to a potentially disturbing outcome. But, luckily, the child was saved and has been returned to her mother. The Lowndes County Board of Education and Sheriff’s Office also complimented the esteemed effort of the school to ensure the safety of the child.
“Last Friday, our school faced one of the greatest fears an educator can have, and that is to have someone to take a child from our care by force,” the Principal reportedly said. “It’s unthinkable for us. We work hard to keep our children safe at all times, but it’s really hard to prepare for the unpredictable. When the time came and we were confronted with the emergency, each person had to use their wit and their courage to know what to do next.”
“The quick actions of both the teacher and the school resource officer are no doubt what led to the quick recovery of this child. This is great work by everyone involved!”