The story of Antoinette Tuff is a testament to the courage, the kindness, the decency, and the heart of a young woman who worked as a bookkeeper in an elementary school in Georgia.

As the whole world must know by now, a gunman came into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, with an AK-47 and 500 rounds of ammunition. He had a shootout with the police. He was obviously prepared for mass slaughter.

But Ms. Tuff spoke to him with love and kindness. She calmed him down. She persuaded him to give himself up. She told him she loved him.

She is not a teacher or principal, she is a bookkeeper.

She holds one of those non-essential jobs that was eliminated in Philadelphia due to draconian budget cuts.

How many other schools across the nation have lost their Antoinette Tuffs because of budget cuts?

Her quick thinking and kind heart prevented a terrible tragedy.

She reminds us, by her example, that there are more important things in life than test scores.