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Hero Teacher: I Did the Only Thing I Could

'I deeply care for my students,' says Jason Seaman, who was shot subduing school shooter
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2018 12:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – The "only acceptable actions." That's how seventh-grade science teacher Jason Seaman described his actions in stopping a young gunman who burst into his classroom at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana last week. Seaman was shot himself as he ran and tackled the shooter, and he spoke for the first time publicly on Monday, though he downplayed his heroism. "My actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done," said Seaman, per CNN. "I deeply care for my students and their well-being. So that is why I did what I did." Seaman devoted the rest of his brief news conference to praising first-responders and 13-year-old Ella Whistler, the only other person shot. She remains hospitalized. Details and developments:

  • Ella: "Her courage and strength is nothing short of remarkable," Seaman said of the girl. He said she remained calm as they waited for help, and he thanked the school resource officer and school nurse for helping her stay "alert and calm," reports the Indianapolis Star. Noblesville's school chief said Monday that Ella was improving at Riley Hospital for Children.
  • Injuries: Seaman underwent surgery Friday for his wounds—his family says he was shot three times, in the abdomen, hip, and shoulder—and he did not elaborate on his injuries. He showed no sign of pain or those injuries at the news conference, notes the AP. Seaman did not take questions from reporters.

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  • Back to school: The Noblesville Police Department will have officers at every elementary and middle school, as well as at Noblesville High School, when school resumes Tuesday, the department says.
  • Shooter: Authorities have not identified the juvenile shooter or speculated about a motive. He asked to be excused from Seaman's class on Friday morning, then returned with two handguns and opened fire. One student witness says Seaman threw a basketball at the shooter as he ran to subdue the youth. WTHR reports that neighbors say the suspect had an affinity for guns, at least of the toy or paintball variety.
  • Fundraisers: A GoFundMe page set up by a Noblesville student for Seaman has raised about $70,000. Also, the Noblesville Schools Education Foundation has established a fund to help both Seaman and Ella. Details on how to donate to that fund are here.
  • Controversial game: A soon-to-be-released video game called "Active Shooter" is causing heated controversy because it simulates a mass shooting inside a school, reports Fox News. "Horrendous," a spokesperson for anti-gun-violence charity Infer Trust tells the BBC. The developer now says he will likely remove the option to play as the shooter before its scheduled June 6 release on the Steam platform, per Kotaku.
  • So far this year: CNN counts 23 school shootings in the US in first 21 weeks of 2018. Among the criteria: The incident involves at least one person getting shot, not including the gunman. The list is here.
  • Trump praise: President Trump is among those who have praised Seaman's actions, with a tweet over the holiday weekend thanking "very brave Teacher & Hero Jason Seaman of Noblesville, Indiana, for his heroic act in saving so many precious young lives. His quick and automatic action is being talked about all over the world!"
(Read more school shooting stories.)

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