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'He Died a Hero': These Teachers Sacrificed Everything to Protect Their Students

02-15-2018
Florida Shooting Teachers
Florida Shooting Teachers
In the face of heartbreak and tragedy, students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are urging everyone to recognize and remember the heroic acts of those who helped save lives.
 
A former student killed 17 people in a vicious attack Wednesday, but students are pointing out the heroes who risked and even sacrificed their lives to protect them.
 
Aaron Feis was the assistant football coach for the Douglas Eagles and also worked as security guard at the school. Students say he was selflessly shielding them from the shooter when he was killed.
 
The schools football team tweeted, confirming his death.
A spokesperson for the school football team, Denise Lehtio said, "He died the same way he lived — he put himself second. He was a very kind soul, a very nice man. He died a hero."
 
One student recounted seeing Feis jump into action. He told Fox News, "He sprinted with everything he had towards it to make sure everyone was safe. He got in front of a couple of people and shielded them, and he actually took the bullets for them. He saved their lives for sure."
 
Another student told Good Morning America that her 35-year-old geography teacher, Scott Beigel, is the reason she made it home.
 
"I am alive today because of him," she told Good Morning America. "I'm so thankful that he was there to help everybody who did live."
 
Kelsey Friend was one of a group of students who were in the hallway trying to get into a classroom for protection. She says Biegel unlocked his door and urged them inside. As he was trying to relock the door, the gunman appeared and Biegel blocked the doorway with his body. The first-year teacher and cross-country running coach was shot and killed.
 
"He unlocked the door and let us in. I thought he was behind me but he wasn't. When he opened the door, he had to relock it so that we could stay safe but he didn't get the chance," Friend said.
 
The school's athletic director, Chris Hixon, also gave his life protecting students.
 
An administrator from a nearby school described him as "probably the nicest guy I have ever met" and someone who "would give you the shirt off his back."
 
Teacher Melissa Falkowski, who made it out safely with her students, is being recognized for her heroic efforts. She hid 19 students in a closet in silence for 30 minutes until SWAT arrived and secured the room. 
 
"We sort of huddled in the corner for a few minutes and then I made the decision to move everyone to the closet," Falkowski told CNN. "I managed to put 19 kids in the closet with me. This is the worst nightmare that could ever happen to you."
 
Students, staff and people across the country are taking to social media to acknowledge all of their bravery.
 

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