In its definition of the word “hero,” Webster’s notes that it is “especially one who has risked or sacrificed his life.” Charles sacrificed his life to protect his kids — the passengers on his school bus.
Dr. Thomas Bice, Alabama’s superintendent of schools, presents proclamations to each of the students who were on their school bus when it was hijacked by gunman Jimmy Lee Dykes, who allegedly shot driver Charles Poland and then abducted one student. Bice says the students displayed safety skills that Poland taught them, and he recounts how the students loved Poland.
Cristina Rickert stopped her bus when she saw students playing recklessly on a snow bank on the side of the road. One of the students then slid under the wheels of the bus. Rickert receives the 2010 New York State Bus Driver Heroism Award for her actions.