Florida Students Say Teacher Who Claims To Be Hero Left Them To Die

Students are speaking out claiming that teacher Jim Gard left them to die.

Parkland, FL – Two students who survived the Florida school shooting in February are criticizing a teacher who was described as a hero during the rampage for locking them out of his classroom.

Math teacher Jim Gard was credited for protecting students in his classroom during the shooting Feb. 14 when a teen gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to USA Today.

Students Josh Gallagher and Connor Dietrich said Gard had locked the door to his room and refused to open it for about 15 students who were in the hallway.

Gallagher said Gard “called himself a hero, and … the media portrayed him as a hero when in reality he is the opposite,” according to USA Today.

Gallagher said he was in Gard’s class when the fire alarm went off. The students left the classroom. When the students heard gunshots, about 15 of them froze and then tried to rush back to the classroom.

The students say that Gard had locked the door and refused to let them in.

"We were stuck in the hall for four total minutes, ducking and in fear for our lives" Gallagher said. He said another teacher that Gallagher didn’t recognize let them them in another classroom.

Gallagher said Gard "left 75 percent of his students out in the hallway to be slaughtered,” according to USA Today.

"He is nothing but a coward," Gallagher said. "He has revictimized the students he left out of his class by calling himself a hero."

Gard gave a phone interview with CBS Miami while still locked in his classroom with some of his students that was less than two hours after the shooting. They were waiting for the police to say they could exit the classroom.

Student Connor Dietrich was also critical of Gard on Twitter.

"As one of the kids left in the hallway I want people to understand how terrifying and defenseless I personally felt," Dietrich tweeted. "The person I had to rely on left us to die and that’s not okay."

Gard told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel that 13 students had lagged behind during a fire drill and were locked outside his classroom. He said all those students found shelter elsewhere and survived the shooting.

“I looked back down the hall and no one was around — no one,” Gard said. “You have to close the door. That’s protocol. We have no choice.”

The Orlando Sun-Sentinel said it was established policy for teachers to keep the door locked during shootings, “according to teachers well-versed on procedure.”

Comments
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HonestC
HonestC

And I wonder if you would feel the same way if one of those kids in the hall had been YOUR child? Think about it - they had JUST LEFT the room and were in the hall. The teacher KNEW them and knew they weren't the shooter.

Mic911
Mic911

If I read this correctly the students had just left his classroom and in a matter of seconds he refused to let them back in?!?! I have to agree, protocol or not...unlock the door, usher the kids in quickly (I am sure they would be moving really fast anyway) and lock the door again, take cover and wait. A coward in every sense of the word!!

HonestC
HonestC

You're telling me the teacher didn't recognize the kids who JUST LEFT his room for a fire alarm?!! Of course he KNEW none of them was the shooter since they had been WITH HIM. There is no reason why he could not have opened that door for them. Or, better yet - KEPT the door open for them to get back in since they were right there.

Tekhore
Tekhore

He was giving an interview to CBS while locked in the classroom? Maybe they should have called him? No, that’s right, he was on the phone...

sketchers
sketchers

Hi, this a horrible situation. It is true we are told to look in the hall, let anyone in and then lock the door. You are to get away from the door and not open it for any reason. How would the teacher know for sure that the shooter was not outside with those kids, forcing them to plead with him? It is a no-win situation. Unfortunately, this is the protocol for all teachers. We are not even supposed to open the door for police officers. There has to be protocol. You just pray you never have to follow it.