Librarian Saves 55 in Parkland Shooting Because of Friend Who Survived Sandy Hook
It was a real-life worst case scenario. The thing you prepare for but never really think will happen. They had run drills for it, but now it was really happening.
Despite their best efforts, an active shooter had gotten onto the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus. A fire alarm sounded and then shots rang out. It took a moment for people to realize what was happening but when they did, many took life-saving action.
As evil played out in full display on campus that day, so too did good. As one person tried to take as many lives as possible, many other people tried to protect as many lives as possible, even at the risk — and loss — of their own.
That day, the world saw the absolute worst of humanity in battle with the absolute best. The worst left a huge mark on the side of good, but ultimately the side of good won out. The alleged shooter was caught and survivors have attributed their survival to the courage and actions of the many good people around them.
One such quick-thinking and courageous person was school librarian Diana Haneski. According to Reuters, Haneski heard the “Code Red Lockdown” alert on her radio and immediately knew what to do.
Acting only on the alert, with no knowledge that shots had yet been fired, she yelled for students who were leaving the room, “Get back in here! Get back in here!”
Quickly she managed to get 50 students and five adults to trust her instincts and enter the media equipment room that was located at the rear of the library.
She instructed them all to get down on the floor and to hide behind the objects in the room such as large stacks of paper and equipment carts. She covered up a window and turned off the light, leaving them in darkness.
She waited and watched, keeping her eyes glued to the sliver of light beneath the door. “I could see between the door and the floor. I could see if the bad guy — the shooter — walked past.”
Haneski locked them in and then her radio crackled with the awful news. Her worst fears were realized — there was an active shooter on campus. Haneski recounted, “At first it was just lockdown then right away we heard ‘shooting.’ We heard his name.”
Haneski immediately recognized the name announced. She had known Nikolas Cruz from her prior employment at the middle school and knew him to be “a troubled child.”
Haneski’s instincts were right on the mark in knowing immediately that something was wrong. The school had undergone a drill earlier and staff were alerted to the fact that a “mock incident” would take place. Some teachers initially just assumed that was what was happening.
While Haneski “felt right away this was real,” it was an eerie coincidence that gave her the knowledge of what to do.
Five years prior, when a former student killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook, it was Haneski’s friend Yvone Cech, the librarian, who helped save lives.
Cech was able to get 18 children and four adults into a small closet and lock the door. Her actions saved their lives.
Little did she know that she’d be saving other lives with those actions, as well. Inspired by what she did, her friend, Haneski, was able to replicate those heroic deeds and save more lives.
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