The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has shone light on some heroic behaviors. The shooting has also left many having to explain their less-than-heroic actions, too. This is one of those moments. A student who survived the shooting says he was left in the hall by a teacher who abandoned his students.
Josh Gallagher, a junior from Coral Springs, Florida, posted his account of events on social media. He claims his teacher, Jim Gard of Pompano Beach, ran back into the classroom and locked the door. This left many of Gard’s students in the hall.
“I’m a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting,” Gallagher wrote on Twitter.
“Before the shooting took place I was located in the 700 building which is right next to the freshmen building facing it in my Math class with my Teacher Jim Gard.”
“It was around the time of 2:20 when we had a fire alarm go off, everyone in my class was confused because we had one take place previously in the day.”
Then they heard the gunshots.
“At this point we all ducked and shock kicked in for half a second of what is happening. As we made it to the door we found out the door was locked,” he writes.
“Which then left me and 15 other students in the hallways ducking as the screams of classmates and gunshots took over the noise around me.”
“I called my dad [an officer in the Coral Springs Police Department] up on the phone thinking this could be the last time I speak to him.”
“As I was on the phone with him as he tried to calm me down, a teacher I never seen before opened the door for me and 14 other classmates to flee danger.”
“When I got into the classroom I told my dad I loved him, he then said it back to me and he hung up because he was a first responder running into the freshmen building.”
“Hours and days after the shooting I came to found out … Jim Gard actually ran back into the classroom without turning around and locked his door.”
“He left 75 percent of his students out in the hallway to be slaughtered. How can a man such as him be viewed as a hero in the media?”
“While the shooting was happening and students were locked in the hall he actually called a news station inform them what was going on instead of attempting or even thinking to save kids he left in the hall!”
“He has re-victimized the students he left out of his class by calling himself a hero.”
Gard remembers it differently. “I looked back down the hall and no one was around — no one,” said Gard. “You have to close the door. That’s protocol. We have no choice.”
But he did hear the kids knocking. “I told the kids we can’t let anyone in,” he said.
“We had no idea if it was a drill or not. By the time I walked over to the door, the banging had stopped. I didn’t hear any yelling. If there were 13 kids outside the door screaming and banging I would have heard them.”
“We hear the choppers overhead,” Gard told reporters. “We get online and see all the news reports.”
“Fast forward to Sunday, when the parents came back for an open house,” Gard said. “All of a sudden this kid comes over and starts screaming at me. Then his father started screaming at me. This is insane.”
Another student, Connor Dietrich, claims he was also left in the hall and supports Gallagher’s version of the events, writes the Daily Mail.
“As one of the kids left in the hallway I want people to understand how terrifying and defenseless I personally felt,” he tweeted. “The person I had to rely on left us to die and that’s not okay.”