Up until the other day Antoinette Tuff was a regular person doing her job, surviving a divorce after many years of marriage, 33 she said and a disabled son to care for and her job was a bookkeeper in an elementary school. Then things changed and a gunman came into the school ready to shoot the children and the staff with an AK assault rife with 500 rounds of ammunition
She had been late coming back to her desk due to some bad news she received, I presume from a phone call. She tried to calm him down; she spoke to him of her problems, showing him, others have situations in their lives that trouble them too. She called him sweetie and she talked to him soothingly telling him he was not alone. She even told him that she loved him.
The school is called Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia. She had 911 on the line and she was speaking to the dispatcher there who was coaching her and sending the police at once.
She was like her name tough, but with gentleness and she showed him she was concerned about him and that he should give himself up. She told him she would walk outside with him when he surrendered to the law enforcement people.
She spoke to him, listened to him and she made him feel wanted and she conveyed to him that she cared a lot.
The police came and took him away and she then realized how dangerous a situation she had been in and she modestly declined everyone saying she was a heroine. Indeed, she was and is and by her actions she saved about 800 students from death.
I saw her on Anderson Cooper last night and I was so enamored of this young woman and the bravery she portrayed during a dangerous confrontation. She even said she told him she had to go to the bathroom and laughed when he told her no. She told Anderson that when it was all over, she thanked God for watching over her. This woman is an impressive individual and no one in that school or city will ever forget her. Someone suggested she receive a Freedom medal for diffusing this terrible event.
She seems to have her own personal sad times She said she learned through her church when you have troubles you “push past the pain.” She was trained at the school to handle situations such as hostage times and thugs coming into the school. She did her job with excellence and kindness and most of all courage.
Antoinette is a true role model for us. Will Rogers said “a hero is a short lived profession on earth.” William Rotsler said “a hero is one who thinks slower than a coward.”
Antoinette Tuff is no slow thinker, she thought fast and courageously and she accomplished the saving of a community of youngsters and their adult teachers and staff.
She will never be forgotten and her name is already on the list of Angels on this earth.
There is a saying that says “everything you wish for will come to you at just the right time. Just be patient and have faith.” I have faith that Antoinette will have her wishes fulfilled, she surely deserves all the excellence in life that there is.
She deserves the Freedom Medal, she gave the school community the freedom to continue on with life.