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I’ve never had the pleasure of teaching, let alone trying to oversee a high school shop class. It’s probably all you can do make sure everyone leaves with the same number of limbs and digits they walked in with every day. But all that pressure (and an apparently less-than-attentive group of students) seems to have gotten to Manuael Dillow who was teaching a welding class at the Neff Science and Technology school in Abingdon, Virginia. He’d apparently reached the end of his educational rope and figured it was time to focus the minds and get the attention of the twelve yoots he’d been entrusted with. And what better way than shooting the little bastards? . . .

Or pretending to, anyway. Dillow’s tale of frustration comes to us from

An investigation by police revealed that Manuael Ernest Dillow, 60, of Liberty Drive, Kingsport, gathered the attention of 12 students in his welding class by lining them up near a garage door in the welding shop. He is then alleged to have pulled a “blank firing handgun” from the back waistband of his pants and fired the gun between four and 10 times in the direction of the line of students.

Apparently one of the first lessons today’s schools of eduction impart to their future educators – at least those specializing in the industrial arts – is that, when things get chaotic, nothing will get the attention of a group of unruly students faster than a little St. Valentine’s Day massacre reenactment.

Dillow, was arrested today and charged with 12 felony counts of brandishing a firearm on school property.  This is a Class 6 felony, punishable by not less than one year nor more than five years or a fine of $2,500, either or both.

Dillow’s made bail and will likely no longer be employed by the Washington County Career and Technical Education Centers. We don’t know if being the recipient of our IGOTD award will make him feel any better about his current circumstances, but we certainly hope so.

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  1. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaha

    I bet them little bastids done filled their drawers as soon as they took one look at crazy ole Mr. dillow popin caps up on dem asses!!!!!

    Besides, it’s a PUBLIC school so this just passes as a lil bity joke, right?!?
    After all, it’s not like inner-city kids have never seen or heard shots coming their way and I bet his lawyer will claim Mr. Dillow was just showing them how to sharpen those reflexes in a crisis situation!


    • Of course, Abingdon, Virginia is a rural town in southwest Virginia with a population of 8,000 people. So yeah, I’m sure it’s ‘inner city’. (Or did you mean to say something else in lieu of ‘inner city’ to describe what you imagined these kids to be?)

      • So because it is a town of 8,000 they are all sainted little angels who could never do wrong?



        • I think that jkp can keep up with your thinking. I just think he was calling into question your assumptions about the demographics of the town. Clearly, just because this is a small city, it does not mean that the children are all sainted angels. But I did not see jkp mention anything like that in his post.

      • Why not just skip all the sophistry and euphemism, and come right out with your charge:


  2. It never fails to amaze me how an ordinarily functional person could consider an action like this without knowing it will lead to unemployment and criminal charges.

    • @ mike taylor,

      WOW, you must live a very sheltered life, have no balls, or be a rich blue-blood.

      I will ‘splain it to you in one word….


      • Rage is just an excuse to be an idiot, or worse.
        I think “ordinarily functional person” implies not being blinded by R-A-G-E.

        • Spy-A crime of passion. Yup, still a crime. As for the rest of your ill considered BS…
          Sure, people get pissed. The difference comes in how people respond to such times in life. Yes, I have had my fair share of fights, some justified, some not. Yes, I have enjoyed a few stressful environments that were fueled by pain and sweat in equal portions.
          Can you say that is just life? I know you can…
          This shop teacher must have known just how folks would react to his antics. So, the result is pretty simple to see way in advance:
          Charges pending and certain unemployment. At what point in his skewed thought process did he think the media would ignore him?
          If this all makes perfect sense to you, then my only advice to you is this:
          Keep a good attorney on retainer.
          Grow up.

        • Yeah, I’ve had crap jobs that made me hate life but I managed to avoid doing anything that got me sent to prison. If you need release, go to the range, put up a target and picture your worst student’s face as you do mag dump after mag dump.

          Or consider getting a new job.

        • “Rage is just an excuse to be an idiot, or worse.
          I think “ordinarily functional person” implies not being blinded by R-A-G-E.”

          The R-A-G-E card is played when a defense lawyer can’t provided a plausible excuse for a criminal act.

        • No one is considering the fact that this teacher brought a “blank firing gun” to his classroom beforehand… R.A.G.E. dissipates with time and removal from the stimulus. Sounds like Mr. Teacher has some other “issues” going on. Gotta love it when fellow “hot heads” side with each other…

  3. I didn’t know you could fire a teacher. Isn’t that what rubber rooms are for? I mean, at least until he can draw a pension.

  4. I’m not a big fan of teenagers myself, but I think that shooting them — even in a “let’s pretend” kinda way — seems just a bit harsh. Perhaps it would have been more mature on Dillow’s part if he had used a Taser.

    • So let me get this straight… Dillow endures years and years of stress from being a shop teacher. One day he figures he’s had enough and comes up with a solution: “I’ll fix those young whippersnapper! I’ll line ’em up tomorrow and fire blanks at ’em! That’ll learn ’em!!!” Perfectly plausable defense.

      • Exactly. Because we all know that of all the high-stress occupations, such as ER surgery and air traffic control, teaching shop is the worst. Followed closely by mattress testing.

        • Whilst I am not proud of my actions, I did play a part in causing my physics teacher to have a complete mental breakdown through an organised campaign of harassment & misbehaviour.
          Believe me; we acted like the spawn of Satan.
          I feel the same sympathy towards this guy as I do towards my teacher but this doesn’t excuse the former’s behaviour.
          I can only think he hadn’t completely cracked, else it might not have been a blank firer he employed & we’d be looking at another school massacre.

  5. LMAO. I had a middle school shop teacher whose meltdowns and chew-outs were the stuff of local legend. Hard to imagine a more stressful job. Every man has his breaking point. Mr. Dillow has clearly reached his.

  6. Wouldn’t a “blank firing handgun” also be known as a starter pistol? Yanno, the thing they use at swim meets and track events…Why would this be considered a gun? It has a solid barrel and since 9/11 most are brightly colored. I have an old one that looks like a .22 revolver but regular .22 short cartridges are too long. The bullet protrudes from the cylinder. Only crimped .22 short casings will fit.

    • When I was on the Swim Team, we had a coach who was a combat veteran Marine who served in Nam. We used to egg him on and him likewise us. One time during practice, we got him so pissed off at us that he started cussing and was shooting in our direction with the Starter Pistol. We all just laughed at him. Times have changed.

  7. Have any of you ever been to some of the small towns in SW VA? The majority of the kids there are about 10 minutes from going to jail. I would have done the same thing except I wouldn’t have used blanks. Would have saved the court system a ton of future money. LOL

  8. This story has gotten way out of hand. My son is one of the students in Mr. Dillows class. These kids in this class are good kids, they are not unruly simply because they were taking a “shop” class. These news articles have fully blown this whole incident out of the water. My son as well as the other boys in the class are prepared to stand behind Mr Dillow as some of the parents are. What he chose to do was stupid and wrong, however I have full faith that he would have never intentionally harmed these kids. he was always pranking these kids, and joking with them, he let this one go way too far. We are human, we often do things without fully thinking through the conseqences. He is a good teacher, who made a very bad decision, but he should not be ridiculed the way he is. He has been most helpful to my son and has taught him many things. It sickens me to read the things people are writing. I understand the shock and awe, but because we live in such a sick world of people our first reaction is to judge and condemn. I will not cast judgement, for I am not perfect, and I realize how in a simple second all of us can make a split second decision that would put us exactly where he is.

    • JSB mom, the posts here were getting tough to read until I came to yours; a breath of fresh air. As a parent with direct knowledge your post accords the most reliable insight into this incident. I agree with your assessment of this totally. This zero tolerance stuff has digressed to the absurd. The anti gun fodder for the media that Dillow unwittingly gave them was seized upon as usual. Thank you for taking the time.


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