Students discuss Bishop-Anderson and impact of shooting - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Past and present students discuss Bishop-Anderson and impact of shooting

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- Before the shooting, students had reportedly went to university leaders about Bishop-Anderson's behavior and bad teaching skills in the classroom.

WAFF 48 News anchor Mark Thornhill's daughter, Kristin, saw it first hand. She sat in the front row of Amy Bishop-Anderson's physiology class in 2008.

The day this shooting took place, Kristin was out of town, but when she heard about the shooting, she had a feeling that it was her former teacher.

"I said 'I know who did it.' She was weird. I found out it was in Shelby, so I knew it was her," said Kristin.

She added that it wasn't as though she felt Bishop-Anderson was a murderer--just a bit odd.

"She came off as being odd, but never lost her temper in class," she said.

Kristin said Dr. Bishop may not have lost her temper, but she was tough, telling her class on the very first day...

"I remember her saying 'Nobody in here is going to make an A,'" said Kristin. "It seemed like she looked down on people. She'd brag 'I'm a Harvard grad.' She'd always throw that in."

Kristin said she seemed disinterested in teaching the course and would quickly read through the lessons. That's why other students went to the administration complaining about Bishop's lack of instructional skills.

Kristin graduated with a nursing degree in December. She doesn't want the image of her alma mater to be tarnished by the shooting.

"I don't want her actions to be the face of UAH. Because I loved all of my teachers I had, except for her. I'm proud to say I went to that school. I don't want her name drug into UAH," she said.

For some, the shooting made no impact on their impression of UAH.

Kristin's brother, Wes had already accepted an academic scholarship to UA-Huntsville at the time of the shooting and was set to take a tour of the campus the next Monday.

Wes is now a freshman at the university, but on February 12, 2010, he was watching the shooting unfold at his future school from a television in Arab.

He said the shooting didn't make him question his decision to attend UA-Huntsville.

"I was more surprised that it happened so close to home, the school where I was going. It was just surprising, it didn't really affect my decision," said Wes.

However, Wes's roommate Corey Harris, a pre-med student, had a different take. He was still considering other colleges, and he had recently sat down with Dr. Adriel Johnson for a three hour counseling meeting.

"I remember watching to see who the victims were because I knew Dr. Johnson was probably in the conference when it happened," said Corey.

When he found out Dr. Johnson had been killed, it was crushing news.

"A man who knew how to help his students and help them to be successful in their careers. He made me feel he could take me to medical school where I really wanted to go," said Corey about Dr. Johnson.

Both Corey and Wes have classes in the Shelby Center, so the shooting crosses their mind from time to time, but they say they feel safe here.

"They do a really good job here making us feel safe. I never think about it happening again. It seems like it was isolated," Wes said.

Students and faculty are also not lingering in past, but looking ahead to the future.

"It really forges a bond with the other students. We stick together and it brings the entire community together," said Corey.

Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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