Every once and a while my kids do something I know nothing about and when it eventually gets back to me I think (with serious relief) that we might actually be doing something right as parents and they are going to turn out okay.
I’ve been meaning to record this story about Hannah on the blog for a few months, but didn’t know how to write it. Instead, I am going to post an excerpt from a talk that a member of our Stake Presidency (leadership over ten congregations in our area) gave to the adult church members in which he recounted the story through the eyes of one of Hannah’s friends:
“On Wednesday, December 10, a student entered Loudoun County High School shortly after 8 a.m. A security specialist monitoring the surveillance cameras saw a flash of metal that looked as if it could be a gun. She called police. Within minutes, a message was broadcast over loudspeakers telling students and staff at the Leesburg school to lock doors and move into interior rooms. Leesburg police arrived with tactical teams to sweep the campus and traced the young man’s path through the school with the same cameras.
Three Mia Maids (14 and 15 year old girls) from the Leesburg Ward (Ellie Brinton, Hannah Lee, and Trina Cummings) were early because they came directly to school from early morning seminary. They were in their classroom in the school before most of their classmates when the announcement came over the loudspeaker. They immediately sheltered in place under their desks as instructed, remaining silent.
I’d like share what happened during the next hour in Ellie’s words, “As we were waiting there, I wondered- what was going on of course- but also if we would be okay. I texted "I love you" messages to my sister who was in the school as well and also my parents. After around 20 minutes, we started hearing sirens. After another short time, we heard crashes outside our door. Then pounding footsteps, and walkie-talkies. I remember hearing someone yell, "POLICE!"
It was then that Hannah turned to Trina and I, and gestured with her hands- 6 fingers, 3 fingers, and then 6 again. I realized she was trying to say, "D&C 6:36" We knew this well because it is a scripture mastery verse which reads "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not". Over time the noise died down. While I waited in a corner with 6 other kids, I felt my Heavenly Father was keeping us safe. He made sure we were okay. I knew He was there, with me, my friends and my teachers. I knew we were not alone.”
There are so many things about this story that make me happy as a mom. First, the supposed gunman ended up being a student with a pair of collapsible headphones shoved awkwardly into his pocket, so our children were and are completely safe. Second, the school and town worked together to handle what was a very intense and stressful situation in such a great way that it is being studied by other schools and towns.
But most importantly, both of my kids were in the school at the time of the lockdown and had the immediate reaction to turn to the Lord in silent prayer and both felt everything was going to be okay. Hannah sensed that her friend was starting to get a little panicked in the situation and my girl had the peace of mind to recall a scripture that would calm her friend’s nerves!
And that brings me a peace of mind like nothing else.