Two friends bonded by tragedies call for change - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Two friends bonded by tragedies call for change

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These two women are bonded by tragedy, now fighting for change (Submitted) These two women are bonded by tragedy, now fighting for change (Submitted)

Two friends bonded together by two tragedies.

One, a librarian who saved students at Sandy Hook, the other took notes from that heroic effort and was forced to put it into action just last week as the librarian in Parkland, Florida.

They were friends long before either of these tragedies, but they say the fact that they both lived through separate school shootings is a sign that change needs to happen soon.

“My mom was teaching at the elementary school in Sandy Hook. She was teaching a class of 18 fourth graders,” said Ashley Cech, her mom Yvonne Cech was a librarian at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Yvonne’s friend Diana Haneski saved lives last week in Parkland, Fl.

“She just remembered what my mom had done and mirrored that as much as she could,” Cech said.

Through a Facetime interview with Channel 3, Yvonne’s daughter Ashley guided shared the details of their decades-old friendship that sadly has been connected by tragedies.

“When you’re in a school and you’re teaching, you’re not expecting you’ll hear gunshots,” Cech said.

When the gunfire started in Sandy Hook, Yvonne and other staff didn’t have a lot to work with but moved fast.

“She took the things that were at her disposal in the library, rolling book carts and created an obstacle course essentially so it would be difficult if the shooter made his way into the library,” Cech said. “They hid them in a closet and barricaded the closet with a file cabinet to keep them safe as possible.”

The life-saving measures were part of a harrowing story of survival told by Yvonne, but when Diane heard it, she did more than just listen. She took notes.

Last week, she called on the experience of her good friend when horror and carnage played out in her school.
“She knew it would be one of the safest thing she could do was get the children into a closet where they could lock the door,” Cech said.

Diana’s actions are now also responsible for protecting lives.

“That has become part of the job description for a teacher. Become prepared for an active shooter,” Cech said.

In the last week, the two librarians, with two unique school shooting survival stories, met in Florida, crying out for change.

They’re lobbying lawmakers for universal background checks while also urging them to reject donations from gun lobbyists.

“We’re going to take our voices to the polls in November and vote you out of office if you refuse to stand with the American people who made it overwhelmingly clear that they agree with things that are common sense gun safety measures,” Cech said.

One of the proposals after Sandy Hook and now Parkland, was to arm certain faculty members.

We asked Cech what the two survivors thought and she said they felt it was a bad idea.

Do you think teachers should be allowed to be armed? Vote in our poll here.

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