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WHEREAS, it is with profound sorrow and regret that the members of the Alabama State Board of Education mourn the death of Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. of Newton, Alabama, who served diligently and faithfully as a school bus driver for the Dale County School System for four years beginning in 2009; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. is a true hero who stood between an armed attacker and the students on his school bus and gave his life to protect the children on his school bus, being shot and killed by a lone gunman as he drove his route in Midland City, Alabama, on January 29, 2013; and

WHEREAS, the students in the care of Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. are all safe and back with their families, including Ethan Gilman, a five-year-old kindergarten student who was taken hostage by the attacker and held in a bunker for seven days until being freed by dedicated, committed law enforcement officers supported by numerous other agencies and a loving community; and

WHEREAS, the children in the care of Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. now have the opportunity to live full and happy lives and grow up to be productive members of society; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. served honorably in the military of the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. has been posthumously honored and recognized for his heroic deeds by the Congress of the United States and the Legislature of the State of Alabama and has also been recognized throughout the nation and the world; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. will be sorely missed by his loving wife Mary Janice, his family and friends, his students, his church members, his school system coworkers, his community members where he was highly regarded, and his fellow citizens in the Great State of Alabama; and

WHEREAS, the tremendous bravery of Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. will long be remembered and reflects immense honor upon his school system and the entire state of Alabama:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does offer heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Charles “Chuck” Poland Jr. and does honor and recognize him for his bravery even in the face of a threat to his own life and for his extraordinary act of service to and sacrifice for his students, his school system, and his community.

Done this 14th day of March 2013