On Friday, a J.B. Pennington eighth-grader was rushed to Cullman Regional Hospital and later transported to Children’s Hospital after being found unconscious in the basement bathroom. Since the incident, the school, as well as the community, have come together in prayer and support of the 14- year-old boy.
“After several rounds of CPR, the young man began to have a noticeable heartbeat and began to struggle to breathe,” said J.B. Pennington principal Brian Kirk. “CPR was administered until the Blountsville Fire and Rescue arrived and Blount EMS arrived shortly after and took over the scene from there.”
Kirk said he is proud of the way the school’s staff and student body reacted during the adverse conditions.
“We are fortunate to be in a special community with special people. This is a community that cares about each other,” he said. “For that, we are truly blessed.”
Since the incident, the school and community have come together in support of the teen. On Sunday, ninth-grader Evan Underwood and graduate Eric Richardson organized a prayer circle at Pennington’s William R. Sutton Stadium.
More than 200 people attended the event, according to Kirk.
“There has been an outpouring of support of prayer during the vigil Sunday night and during an assembly at school on Monday for this wonderful young man,” he said. “Over the weekend he has shown signs of improvement and we hope for a full recovery. His family and the J.B. Pennington High School family request continued and much-needed prayer for the young man and his family.”
Another student, ninth-grader Macy Smith, organized a prayer circle on Tuesday at the flagpole for the teen.
Kirk led prayer at the Sunday and Monday events.
“I’m not afraid to do that because God is everywhere and we can’t take Him out of school,” he said. “This is part of the healing process. This is one of the most difficult times ever at this school, and God will see us through it and use it for His glory.”
Counselors were present to meet the individual needs of students having difficulty processing the event, according to Kirk.
“It is important to know that J.B. Pennington High School has had full support from Blount County Supt. Jim Carr and his staff,” Kirk said.