Now that 'Trans Day of Visibility' is over, can we celebrate the heroes of Nashville?

Now that the "Trans Day of Visibility" is over, can we celebrate the heroes of Nashville?

Last week, a horrific school shooting at Covenant Elementary School took the lives of three adults and three nine-year-old students.  As in many recent mass shootings, the perpetrator was an unhappy misfit who also claimed to be transgender and police said that that situation played a part in the killer's motive for targeting the school.  Amid all the speculation and excuse-making and focus on the miserable perpetrator, something got far less attention in the press coverage.

...that there were heroes at the school.

According to The Tennessean:

Katherine Koonce, the head of school at The Covenant School and a lifelong educator, lived to love and encourage kids, parents and colleagues, friends said.

Koonce, 60, died trying to protect her students from a heavily-armed former student who killed her, two of her colleagues and three 9-year-olds at the private K-6 Christian school on Monday, her family, friends and Metro Police said.

"She gave her life to protect the students she loved," Koonce's family said in a statement to The Tennessean released Wednesday.

And that wasn't just wishful thinking from those grieving.  According to local television station KTXS 12, an ABC affiliate:

The witness told Pulley when Koonce heard the shots, she abruptly ended the meeting and left her office and headed towards the shooter.

The witness account, which Pulley said he has verified, aligns with statements from Metro Nashville Chief of Police John Drake during a press briefing, who said, "I did see the head school person and she was in the hallway by the office."

Drake added, "She was in the hallway by herself. There was a confrontation I'm sure. You can tell the way she was laying in the hallway."

That would have taken about 30 seconds, an instant decision by a 61-year-old woman, who might have been wearing professional attire and maybe high heels, to attempt to save the school's children against an armed, enraged maniac — with her bare hands, in what sounds like an attempted tackle.

The courage of that act to save the kids with about a 99% chance of death cannot be understated.  But she did it.  Her unfathomable courage is something to be celebrated.

It compares harshly with the timid response from the Uvalde police during that mass shooting in Texas as yet another sorry maniac, similar to the Nashville one, went from classroom to classroom, massacring children and their teachers, as distressed parents were barricaded from entering the area.  Or the Coward of Broward, the armed guard who waited outside cravenly as yet another hopped up loser shot up a school in Parkland, Florida.  Those men were armed and failed the call of duty.  The principal was unarmed and tackled the killer herself.

It also compares harshly with the sympathetic media response to the killer's gender confusion, which cops say played a part in the motive, and which ought to have drawn mass condemnation from the transgender "community" but didn't.  They went right ahead with their "Trans Day of Visibility" festivities, as if the killings had nothing to do with it.

Nashville had more than one hero in this shooting, but unfortunately, most of the press coverage focused on the killer.

The two Nashville police officers who bravely took down the freak, a mere 15 minutes after the call was made, also deserve great honors.

Harrowing footage released by police shows Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo charging Monday morning into the Covenant School and taking out a shooter who'd just killed three 9-year-olds and three adults and was unleashing bullets from an upper window.

Within 3 minutes of arriving, they'd hunted down and fatally shot the attacker — announcing to their comrades: "Suspect down! Suspect down!"

They deserve all the praise and honors they ever get and more — and should be the ones the movies get made about.

Not only is the fact that Koonce was unarmed poignant (and I don't buy the talk about arming teachers in schools because anyone who knows anything about teaching little kids knows that they get into everything), but  she was not the only unarmed school official who should be honored as a hero of extraordinary courage and grace in these recent mass shootings.

Recall also the great young teacher of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, Victoria Leigh Soto, aged 27, who hid her children in a closet as the killer went from classroom to classroom massacring children, and then tried to talk the freak into looking for the children somewhere else.  Yes, according to her Wikipedia page, she has been subject to many posthumous honors and monument namings, but she didn't get the immediate coverage that the spray shooter did.  That was the same sort of shame we see in this Nashville incident.

The story of Koonce's courage hits home for me, because I recall the heroism of yet another principal who died trying to save the kids in a mass shooting — that of Burton Wragg at the Cleveland Elementary School shooting in San Diego in 1979, where yet another angry misfit shot up the school, hitting many children and killing Wragg and two school staffers, all of whom died actively trying to shield the kids.  I knew Mr. Wragg when he was my elementary school principal at another school a few years earlier — kindly taking me to the nurse's office himself when I fainted on the playground from the high heat of the day.  At Cleveland Elementary School, Mr. Wragg showed the courage of a lion and the compassion of a lamb.  But we don't hear nearly as much about his heroism as we do about the wretched killer, who got a song named after her sick comments she made to police when the Boomtown Rats named their song "I don't like Mondays."  It's so disgusting that the killer got pop immortality of sorts and Mr. Wragg and his heroism are so largely forgotten.

Koonce and her sacrifices should not be forgotten.  It's people like her who show what character is, what greatness is, in all of a split-second decision.  In this day and age, where maladjustment is celebrated, it's that greatness that needs to be celebrated and honored and taught instead.

Image: Screen shot from NewsChannel 5 video via YouTube.

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