Shanthi Viswanathan, algebra II teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL
Yes, the hero-teacher who had the presence of mind to barricade her students inside a classroom and wouldn’t let anyone inside until she knows all of them are safe.
When the gunman — who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman High School — started firing, this quick thinking teacher may have saved her students’ lives by ordering them to huddle on the floor instead of sending them into the school hallway. She proceeded to cover the classroom window with papers so that no one from the outside can see who are hiding inside.
Dawn Jarboe, a parent of one her students has this to say: “She was quick on her feet. She used her knowledge. She saved a lot of kids.”
How determined was she to protect her students?
We assume A LOT, because when a member of the SWAT team arrived to rescue them, the teacher cannot be persuaded to open the door. She was not taking any chances. After all these students are her kids!
“She said, ‘Knock it down or open it with a key. I’m not opening the door,” Jarboe said.
Brian, one of the students inside the room texted her mom, “Some SWAT guy took out the window and cleared our room.”
Of course social media cannot get enough of this amazing teacher. So many are praising her for her quick-thinking and life-saving reaction:
What is a hero?
“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” — Maya Angelou
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