MUHS senior receives selfless courage award

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police have honored a Middlebury Union High School senior for a courageous act.
On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Police Chief Thomas Hanley presented Alyzza Odell the department’s Community Service Award in recognition of an act of selfless courage she performed on behalf of her community.
Middlebury School Resource Officer Chris Mason explained that about two months earlier, on Sept. 16, two students were fighting in the crowded MUHS cafeteria. The two students were grappling and exchanging rapid punches. The violence might easily have led to serious injury, Officer Mason said.
A crowd of students stood passively by, watching as the event unfolded, making no effort to intervene. 
Immediately upon entering the cafeteria and becoming aware of what was happening, Odell rushed to the scene, brushing past other students to reach the combatants. Without hesitation she threw herself between them, physically restraining one of the girls, while shielding her from the punches of the other, all at considerable risk to her own safety.
Odell moved the student she was holding out of harm’s way; the other student backed off and was ultimately restrained by one of the bystanders.
“Alyzza’s actions that day demonstrated a conscientious concern for the safety of her fellow students,” the commendation said. “Her bravery and commitment to the welfare of those involved, as well as to her school, serve as an example to all.”
Odell’s mother, Cheryl Fox-Odell was at the presentation ceremony at the Middlebury Police Department headquarters, as were police officers from the day and evening shifts, who offered their applause to Odell.
After reviewing school security tape of the cafeteria incident, Chief Hanley called said Odell’s “actions were quite remarkable.”

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