Rep. Green Honors Covenant School Community on House Floor

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Mark Green honored The Covenant School community on the House floor. 

Rep. Green’s remarks as delivered:

“Madam Speaker, I come to the House floor today with a heavy, grieving heart for my home State of Tennessee. No one should ever have to endure what The Covenant School community has gone through. 

“I know that my colleagues here today understand how difficult this situation is, and your prayers for our community are deeply appreciated as we mourn this senseless loss of life. I want to take a moment to remember the victims of this horrible attack:

“Three schoolchildren; William Kenney, Evelyn Dieckhaus, and Hallie Scruggs, all aged 9. 

“And three staff members; Cynthia Peak—a substitute teacher, Mike Hill—a custodian, and Covenant School headmaster Katherine Koonce. 

“All of the lives lost were precious. Mike Hill, for example, worked for The Covenant School for 15 years. He not only served this school and the church, but he learned every student’s name. He was the father of seven children. Cynthia Peak was a beloved wife and mother. And Dr. Katherine Koonce was a dedicated and passionate educator who always put children first. 

“And words cannot describe how hard it is to lose children, three precious nine-year old children, one of whom was the daughter of the lead pastor of Covenant Presbyterian church. These children never had a chance to grow up, and my heart is completely broken for these families. I cannot imagine it. Nothing can be said to dull the pain of this tragedy. Tennesseans, and Americans, are praying and grieving with The Covenant community. 

“Madam Speaker, I also want to commend all first responders that were on the scene, and the medical professionals that treated victims at Vanderbilt Medical Center. 

“And I especially want to commend the five Metro Nashville Police Officers who arrived at the school first. These men ran towards the sound of gunfire instead of away from it. Their bravery absolutely saved lives. 

“The two officers that shot and killed—with a gun—the shooter, Officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo, are heroes. They did not hesitate. And because of their quick response, lives were saved. 

“Though unspeakable grief holds Nashville in its grasp, I want to honor the incredible heroism of Metro Nashville’s first responders. Instinct and courage took over in the face of evil and fear. I join Tennesseans in expressing my sincere gratitude for their quick response.

“The outpouring of love means the world to The Covenant community and to all Tennesseans.”

Watch Rep. Green’s full remarks here