Avalon Assistant Headmaster’s Decisiveness Saves Day

Avalon Assistant Headmaster RJ Hawley repelled a trespasser from entering school grounds on September 14 by calling police and organizing teachers.

“What Mr. Hawley did was textbook,” said teacher Tom Stroot, a faculty member who aided in the attempt keep the man off campus.

Hawley quickly managed to get teachers Stroot, Istvan Teleki and Headmaster Kevin Davern into position so he could notify police of the incident..

“I grabbed three of the biggest teachers I could,” said Hawley.

Under Hawley’s direction, the staff members moved to the driveway so they could monitor the man who was hitting cars with his hands and shouting at people.

The man, middle aged and wearing a red hat, held a pipe and shouted at cars entering and leaving the Gaithersburg school. Stroot saw the man a half hour before wearing camouflage with a cape.

Senior John Klein recalled the man yelling, “They are going to hell and would burn.”

Police responded quickly and apprehended the man on Bryant St. After they subdued him, the man was taken to a mental hospital for evaluation.

Police later claimed the man was not a threat to anyone due to his mental illness and the fact he had not taken his medication that day.

Still, Avalon teachers believe the man could have done worse and are grateful for the decisive efforts of Hawley.

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