Antoinette Tuff, who averted a school shooting disaster in DeKalb County, is the subject of an Oscar-nominated short film, “DeKalb Elementary.” Photo: Mark Davis
Photo: Picasa/Mark Davis
Photo: Picasa/Mark Davis

“DeKalb Elementary” about shooting disaster averted, gets Oscar nod

“DeKalb Elementary,” a short film about a bookkeeper at a DeKalb school who talked down a gunman, was nominated for an Oscar Tuesday morning.

The film replays the moment when Michael Brandon Hill entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy brandishing an AK-47, firing at the ground and telling school officials “I’m not afraid to die.”

Antoinette Tuff spoke calmly to the shooter, told him she loved him, and offered to walk outside with him to surrender to police so that they wouldn’t gun him down.

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That harrowing moment from 2013 is captured in the short film “DeKalb Elementary,” by Reed Van Dyk. It is among five films nominated in the “Live Action Short Film” category.

Tuff went on to write the memoir “Prepared for a Purpose” about the event, and to become an in-demand speaker.

The nomination comes on the same day as a school shooting in Kentucky, the second this week.

The Academy Awards ceremony is March 4.


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