It was a quarter after 2 p.m. Friday when Westside Elementary School kindergarten teacher Ginger Taylor witnessed two men walk onto the playground full of kids.
One of the men grabbed a 5-year-old boy and tried to take off with him, when Taylor chased after them in a dead sprint. Little did she know what she was inserting herself into, and it would ultimately earn her a standing ovation from the entire community.
The teacher approached the men and tried to take the boy back, when the suspect not holding the child knocked her to the ground. This afforded the kidnappers a few split seconds of reprieve from someone intervening on their plans, and they were able to take off and toss the screaming child in a car. But Taylor bounced back in just enough time to get the license plate info and car description belonging to suspects, and she called cops to the chase. Where that pursuit would take them, was a mother’s worst nightmare.
The vehicle information was quickly reported to police, and a “be on the lookout”alert, much like an Amber Alert, was sent to the Valdosta Sheriff’s Office, along with regional law enforcement. The brazen child abductors were heading in one direction, b-lining to another location where something far more sinister awaited them. But officers caught up with the culprits just in time, ten minutes after receiving the first call, right before the men boarded a gassed up private plane they rented, headed for Mississippi, WCTV reported.
The men, identified as 33-year-old Michael Ray McCormick and 36-year-old Scott Stapp, were immediately apprehended. McCormick is said to be a non-custodial parent of the boy, and Stapp is a friend of the kidnapping mastermind. The little boy was returned to his mother, and Taylor has since received praise for her courage and quick thinking.
In a room full of people, Taylor received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance, thanking her for averting a child abduction. But she said she didn’t deserve the credit and said all glory belongs to God. “I’m honored to be recognized, but I’d like to give the glory to God,” Taylor said to an overflow crowd, where there was hardly a dry eye in the room. “He [God] was there for me, protecting me, the child, every teacher on the playground, all my coworkers, and without Him, the child wouldn’t be here.”
McCormick has since been charged with kidnapping, simple battery on a school official, and disruption of a school. His partner is facing charges for being an accomplice to the crimes.
Taylor is a gem in the public school system and a blessing to every child and educator on that campus. This kindergarten teacher taught the country a lesson with her actions that afternoon and her response to the earned praise. God was allowed on that campus that day because He was with Taylor and those children, and everyone is safe because of it. She was in the right place at the right time, and it was not a coincidence.