The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday July 25th

Audio feature: A look back at 2006 East Chapel Hill High hostage situation

Lisa Kukla, a former teacher at East Chapel Hill High School and current public policy Ph.D. program coordinator at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, poses for a portrait in her office on Oct. 12, 2016.
Buy Photos Lisa Kukla, a former teacher at East Chapel Hill High School and current public policy Ph.D. program coordinator at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy, poses for a portrait in her office on Oct. 12, 2016.

Lisa Kukla describes East Chapel Hill High School as a pressure cooker. She said many of her students were the children of doctors, professors and lawyers — Kukla liked the students, but it was a competitive environment. The attack at Columbine had occurred seven years earlier, but it was still on the minds of teachers. Kukla said teachers used to wonder if something like that might happen at East Chapel Hill.

On April 24, 2006, Lisa Kukla was in her classroom at East Chapel Hill High School. One of her students, sophomore Chelsea Slegal, was across the hall for tutoring.

That day, Kukla and Slegal were held hostage in Kukla’s classroom for over an hour. Neither one was physically harmed, but ten years later, they both continue to feel the effects of that day.

This week: what happened during that hour, when Kukla and Slegal faced a heavily armed student and convinced him to leave them unharmed.

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