Bennington teacher hospitalized, turns in rifle

Posted at: 01/03/2013 12:53 PM
Updated at: 01/03/2013 6:27 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann


BENNINGTON - "I think the school system is sick and needs to be healed."

That's just one of the statements made by Bennington high school teacher Steven Davis on YouTube that police said caused a public safety concern for the staff at Mount Anthony Union High School.

The well-liked math and science teacher, posted a number of videos to YouTube this week, after police said neighbors spotted Davis carrying a rifle from his home to his car.


"It's an AR 15, it's a Bushmaster AF-15," said Paul Doucette, Bennington Police Chief, noting that it was the same kind of weapon used in the Newtown, Connecticut mass shootings last month.

Davis surrendered the rifle to police, who said he told them he's owned it since 2009 and has never fired the weapon. Police then found loaded clips and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside his home.

"This is all planned and very well thought out," Davis said in another video clip. "I've studied military tactics and this is the way to go. it's all going to hit so hard, so fast and shut that school system down til they get things straight."

Police said administrators and teachers were alarmed, and that Davis' wife said she didn't know he owned the firearm, leaving the home with the couple's two young children and getting a restraining order against Davis.

Davis voluntarily went to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. Since then Police decided to hold him there.

"Some of his postings on YouTube and Facebook were very concerning when he talked about studying military style training he talked about reading CIA manuals and has a real dislike for some of the staff at the high school that was alarming to us and we were concerned about the safety of those people," Doucette said.

Davis said a number of times in the videos that he cares about his students and their education. In the latest video recorded from his hospital bed, he made an appeal.

"Is there any way to get a lawyer? For you guys to find me a lawyer right now?"