“On the morning of April 27, 1966, in a social studies class at Bay Shore High School on Long Island, James Arthur Frampton had words with two African-American students. There was an arrangement to fight after school at 3:00pm. 16 year old Frampton, who lived just minutes from the school, slipped out sometime after 2:00pm to go home to retrieve his Mossberg bolt-action 20 gauge shotgun, loaded it with three shells and prepared to commit murder.
Frampton returned back to school to settle his grievances. He slowly scanned the halls, all three of them while looking into classrooms and yelling out the names of his two challengers. There was very little panic, no precedence, and no protocol. There was an announcement over the public address system from the assistant principal. He created a diversion by announcing that the buses were delayed and that all students remain in their homerooms. But most of the students, unaware of what was going on in the school, were already boarding the school buses to go home. Then another announcement ordered the students to get off the buses and return to their homerooms. Now there was confusion, panic and fear.
Language teacher, 48 year old John S. Lane a man known to have a loud, rough voice that he used frequently to yell at his students, left his homeroom. In the hallway, Lane yelled at Frampton and abruptly stated “Hey boy, what are you doing with that gun? Give it to me.” Frampton slowly turned and fired one round of #6 pellets into Lane’s abdomen and he lay wounded. This incident was the first and only school shooting between a student and a teacher in Suffolk County.”
Text from Thomas Santorelli, Film-maker
To help honor John S. Lane
24 thoughts on “— John S. Lane”
I remember that day Mr. Lane was shot. I was still in homeroom with most of the rest of our homeroom class. We heard a very loud boom and had no idea what it was. Some thought it was the bleachers in the gym collapsing. Our teacher shut the door and we waited for an announcement so we could leave. After 20-30 minutes, we were told we could leave. I didn’t go out the door for the bus, being curious, I walked down the hall but it was cordoned off. I asked
someone what happened and was told Mr. Lane had been shot. I understand that the person who shot Mr. Lane had recently been released from a mental institution. A sad day for Bay Shore High and Mr. Lane’s family.
Whatever happened to the boy that killed him?
Jimmy Frampton had issues dating back to grade school. Tragic that our means of intervention back then were so ineffective and primitive. It is to be hoped we homosapiens live and learn, however difficult the lessons.
We were just talking about all the gun crime in Miami now -2016- and I remembered this day- I was running to my homeroom- the bell was about to ring- I heard someone running behind me- it was Jimmy Frampton- I saw the gun- I had started to open the door to my homeroom- and Mr Anderson yelled- get in and sit down- I said Jimmy has a gun- then the Boom- and it was over. Danny Frampton was in that room with us. It was such a sad awful day in BayShore.
After this most recent school shooting in Parkland FL, I am once again reminded of that terrible day in April 1966. I too was there, I heard the gun shot in the hallway nearby along with Mary and others in our homeroom. My locker was smear with blood. Once we learned what had transpired, the horror that befell all of us that day is still unspeakable.
Here we are once again more then 50 years later. Every time I hear about a school shooting, I’m right back there. Like so many people, I ask over and over, ‘when, if ever, will we stop the insanity?’ Guns are too easily accessible. That day in April 1966 was a sad day, Mr. Lane was my French teacher. A shooting in a school was unthinkable back then. Unfortunately, today it’s all too common. Shame on us as a society, that we continue to allow this to happen, over and over again.
My homeroom faced the west lawn of the school. It was the end of day and we were a couple of minutes before dismissal. I saw him walking across the lawn, rifle in hand and intuitively knew that something bad was going to happen.
My homeroom was first floor next to the entrance (always left open), as he approached the entrance with his rifle, Mr. Lane, by homeroom teacher, intercepted him and told him to turn over the gun…we could hear this, but were out of vision.
The shot…..and he ran out the west door, running around the building now with the just arrived police in pursuit…..I ran behind and with the police, my 16 year old brain not focused on danger, I needed to see what happened next.
My memory is that the police made him discharge the weapon in the air before taking him into custody….that probably didn’t happen, the brain tends to distort details in 52 years.
School must have closed for a couple of days, I don’t recall. I know that grief councilors did not exist then. We returned to school, a little quiet conversation among the students, a substitute homeroom teacher & life continued.
Fast forward 36 years, my nephew, a student at Virginia Tech, witnessed the massacre of 33 people.
It is totally amazing to me how much nothing changes. I implore you to reach out to your political leaders, to confront the NRA and teach your neighbor who just doesn’t get it…..Bob Dylan prophetically told us in 1964, The times are a changing…..well maybe not yet.
Class of ’67
I was there that day and in my homeroom as well. What I can add to the conversation is that I saw a pistol in a locker across the hall from my home room 21, in the lockers nearest the library, within a week prior to the shooting incident. I reported my observations to school authorities at the time. My impression was no action was taken.
This occurrence is recorded in the eventually to be published book ‘The Space Stared Off Into’ by J.L. Foley, who was in the 6th grade at the time.
My name is Stephanie Lane. John Lane was my beloved Uncle. This is a somewhat accurate recollection of the day’s events but not all of this is accurate. However, I’m very surprised and pleased to see my Uncle being honored here. He was actually the first teacher ever to be shot in a school in the United States.
Thank you for this. I am John (Jack) Lane. The teacher you speak of was my uncle.
If you know any other students or teachers that went to Bay Shore HS around that time or anyone that might know more to the story please have them post, e-mail or contact me at 703 861-2913.
Thank you for message. I left a message for you on the cell phone.
There are plenty. I posted it to Facebook recently and many comments from people who were there or their parents were there. Link up to me and I can link you to them.
I was 11 years old and a student at Bay Shore Junior High School when the shooting occurred.
I was living on Fire Island. Because Fire Island only had an elementary school, the high school and junior high students were bussed to the Bay Shore schools. There weren’t many of us and we shared the one big yellow bus.
Because the junior high was dismissed before the high school we would arrive at the high school early and wait for the high school to be dismissed.
We parked in front of the school and I had a perfect view of the events that occurred outside on that ugly afternoon.
I saw the shooter go into the school (he stopped outside my window and was talking with his friend(s); I saw students jumping out of first floor windows; Mr. Lane on the gurney.
Looking out of the school bus window I came face to face with some very ugly facts of life – The world can be a cold cruel scary place. People can be very dangerous. The unexpected happens. Be prepared when leaving your safe place. You are often on your own.
But there was much goodness as well. Mr. Lane did a heroic thing by confronting the gunman. I assume there were others who did exceptional and good things that I don’t know about.
It is perhaps ironic that a place designed to teach students gently and with support would, on that day, give such brutal lessons on the ugliest sides of life. These harsh lessons would be learned in due course, however the price paid for them on that afternoon was way too high.
So now, 55 years later, I belatedly offer my sympathies and condolences to Mr. Lane’s family and say, with much appreciation, Thank you, Mr. Lane.
Thank you for sharing your story with us. These stories stay with those affected your entire life. You and all of your classmates, co-workers, and family of Mr. Lane are always in our hearts and on our Memorial.
Thank you for your kind words Mr. Kurtz! This incident was a major event in my father Joseph (Joe) Lane’s life as his brother John was his best friend. Both of them and 2 other brothers were in the Navy in WWII so all were pretty close.
I graduated bayshore high in1991 never knew of this incident until i came across this post
Very horrible to find tthis out and i know it was long ago but my condolences .
We are so glad that you found the story here. If you happen to run across anything about the story we would love to have a copy of it.
I was a Junior in Bay Shore High back then in 1966……I remember things a little differently. Students were in the hallways headed for the bus to go home when an announcement came over the PA system forcefully announced that ALL students were to enter the CLOSEST classroom. I ducked into my BFF’s homeroom ASAP…some students had already made it to the busses. This young man had walked right by me & other students with this rifle in hand when that announement came…..other students saw him with the rifle ;& “word got around very quickly” yet we had no idea what was about to happen.
Looking out the window from the safety of my then BFF’s homeroom, I saw ANOTHER student in the parking lot along with the police, this other student (who I shall NOT name) was a friend of the pepetrator & I guess had heard what was going on & wanted to get to him to calm, him down. However,bBy then the Suffolk County Police were already in the parking lot surrounding the High School. We remained locked in the classroom until we were told we could board the busses but at the time no one knew the complete story, lots of rumors.
There was a female teacher who was pregnant at the time & I think she “knew this student”…she was going to go out to talk to him to see what was going on with him & if she could defuse the situation. . INSTEAD because she was pregnant Mr. Lane indicted HE would try to calm the student down & attempt to get this student to surrender the rifle……….sadly Mr. Lane was shot. He was in the hospital for awhile & then passed away. A horrific event for Bay Shore High School.
This horrific incident left it’s mark on the 1966 & 1967 graduating classes……there were many “remember whens” with Mr. Lane. This was the first in house school shooting on Long Island that I can remember like it was yesterday. HOW could anyone ever forget it.
Our 1967 Year Book was dedicated to Mr. Lane.
It’s so true, what you say about remembering that horrific event like it was yesterday. It has certainly stayed with me. (And what I witnessed was from a “safe” distance.)
I also remember the perpetrator having a ‘friend’, or at least someone who knew him. When the (armed) shooter walked by my school bus window on his way into the school there was a guy walking with him, talking loudly and gesturing, trying to calm him down.
It’s remarkable how the actions of a troubled 16 year old could affect so many people.
I came across this on the internet, a clipping from the Albany Times Union newspaper:
Times Union (Albany, NY)
May 15, 2014
WATERFORD – Police have identified the 64-year-old man found dead in the Mohawk River on Wednesday.
James Arthur Nebraska was found near the hydro dam between Waterford and Cohoes, police said.
Nebraska, who police said was known to some as James Arthur Frampton, was from Troy.
After an autopsy at Albany Medical Center Hospital, police said they ruled Nebraska died of accidental drowning.
Strong river currents made it difficult to pull Nebraska out of the water, police said.
Written By Emily Brower
I have no more info than this. I suspect it’s the shooter. A troubled end to a troubled life?
Wait what? So he got out paroled eventually??
I just found your article, & yes that incident has stayed with me forever. We knew nothing until the TV News reports later that day. Mr. Lane was a fine man, & it was a tragic ending to his life. Never heard anything further about the perpetrator, other than he went to prison. I did learn much later this young man was eventually paroled. Haven’t been in touch with anyone from Bay Shore in decades, knew nothing more, until finding this blog.
I would imagine Frampton changed his last name for obvious reasons. His life ended in a shocking way. Decades later I ripped up & threw out my yearbook, it was too much a reminder of that tragic event.
Thank you for continuing this dialog. Please continue. It has been interesting to learn more of the story.
I’m a Bay shore high school graduate from 1982. I currently work as a custodian on the the third floor of the high school. I work till midnight and I can feel he’s up here. I do talk to him often. Such a tragic loss.
I lived at 160 3rd avenue, directly across the street from the high school. My mother was a cafeteria worker at the high school. At the time I was in 5th grade, 5th Avenue Elementary School. I walked home and saw all the police cars and watched it unfold from my living room window. My mother and her co workers were told to hide in the walk in refrigerator. For years the light outside the third avenue door exit remained lit in honor of Mr Lane. I went to school with Frampton’s younger sister Susan. She was devastated the next day. What a sad sad day for all of Bay Shore