Florida Teacher's Quick Action May Have Saved the Lives of Students During Shooting

Shanthi Viswanathan
Shanthi Viswanathan

She told them they'd have to bust down the door.

A math teacher at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting Wednesday is being hailed a hero after her quick action may have saved her students’ lives.

Instead of sending her students into the hallway when she heard the second fire drill go off at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Shanthi Viswanathan, an Algebra II teacher, told her students to get on the floor, reports said.

Viswanathan then covered up the glass window in her classroom's door with a sheet of paper so no one could see inside, according to reports.

Meanwhile, alleged gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire in the school with an AR-15 assault rifle.

The rampage ended in the deaths of 17 students and faculty.

Even when the SWAT team arrived at the high school and knocked on Viswanathan’s classroom door, she refused to open it, reports said.

“She said, ‘Knock it down or open it with a key. I’m not opening the door,’” Dawn Jarboe, whose son, Brian, was in the classroom at the time, told news outlets.

The SWAT team then busted through the door.

Jarboe was extremely thankful for the teacher’s actions.

“She was quick on her feet,” Jarboe said. “She used her knowledge. She saved a lot of kids.”

Three other faculty members died while trying to protect students.

The school’s assistant football coach and security guard, Aaron Feis, reportedly used his own body to shield others from the gunfire that ultimately claimed his life.

Teacher Scott Beigel, 35, reportedly let students into his classroom before shutting the door, when he was fatally struck by a bullet.

Christopher Hixon, 49, an athletic director at the high school, was reportedly killed while patrolling the halls.