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A teacher at Schweinfurt Middle School in Germany apparently suffered a heart attack on Friday and died at the school.

Linwood Griffin, a seventh-grade science teacher who had taught at the school for more than 20 years, was stricken in the morning after complaining to the school nurse that he didn’t feel well, according to principal Eldrenna Durham.

Griffin was measured with high blood pressure and was being encouraged to go to the hospital when he collapsed at around 11:45 a.m. in the lobby inside the school’s front door, Durham said

The school nurse, Lily Bagtas, and another school employee, James Kennedy, tried to revive Griffin using cardiopulmonary resuscitation and a defibrillator. A German ambulance arrived 25 minutes after it was called, after possibly first going to the wrong school, Durham said.

Griffin, 62, was taken to the nurse’s office, where he was pronounced dead by an American doctor.

Griffin had a German wife, Elfriede, and no children, except for his students, Durham said.

“He loved the kids so much,” Durham said. “That school was his entire life.”

Funeral arrangements had not been scheduled as of Saturday afternoon, Durham said, although the school was planning to hold a memorial service at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Durham said it was fortunate that only two of the school’s 193 students witnessed the event. The eighth-graders were in the gymnasium for lunchtime recess, the seventh-graders were in the cafeteria, and sixth-graders were in classes.

The school was put in a lockdown, Durham said, so that students would not see the stricken teacher and rescue efforts. Lockdowns are practiced several times per year at the school, she said, so the students were familiar with the drill.

Students were brought to the gym about 45 minutes before the end of the school day and told what had happened, according to Karen Rose, a sixth-grade teacher. It was decided by school officials that all pupils should receive the same message, she said.

Counselors, chaplains and teachers were available at that time to help the grieving students, Rose said.

Paper was being put up in the cafeteria so that students could write personal messages and put up photos if they wished.

Griffin was an avid photographer who photographed many of the school’s events and provided the photos to the administration for their use.

“He didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Durham said. “That is why it’s so sad.”


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