Amid the shock and fear of Florida shooting massacre that left 15 school students and two faculty members dead on Wednesday, February 14, an unlikely hero emerged from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Shanti Viswanathan, an Indian-American math teacher, was hailed for her bravery and presence of mind that saved all the students in her class.
As soon as the alarm went off for the second time in school on Wednesday afternoon, Viswanathan realized that something had gone terribly wrong. She soon closed the doors and windows of the classroom and made the students lie down keeping them away from the shooting rampage.
"She was quick on her feet. She used her knowledge. She saved a lot of kids," Dawn Jarboe, a student's mother told Sun-Sentinel.
When an unknown person knocked on the door after a while and asked her to open it, Viswanathan's presence of mind was once again put to test. She was unsure about what potential dangers lay behind the doors. However, she replied: "'Knock it down or open it with a key. I'm not opening the door". She was not falling for any of the tricks that the gunman might possibly use to enter the classroom.
However, it was later found out that it was the SWAT Team that knocked on the classroom door. When the police contingent found out that the teacher was protecting the students from the gunman, a SWAT personnel came through the window, cleared the room and got the teacher and the student out to safety, according to Sun-Sentinel.
Nikolas Cruz, a former student of the school, went on a shooting rampage on February 14, killing 15 students and two faculty members with an AR-15 automatic rifle. The shooter had a troubled childhood and reportedly uploaded a video on YouTube where he talked about going on a shooting rampage. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had been alerted about Cruz's video but the agency had closed the investigation without trying to track him down, reports said.
Here's how Twitter lauded Shanti Viswanathan for her bravery.
A woman who has an instinct of a mother does not differentiate among children. She thinks all the children as her own.— LITTLE ARISTOTLE (@aviator6061) February 17, 2018
She took a calculated risk... applause ???— Keyser Soze (@RahulMalkaunsh) February 17, 2018
Indian american teacher save life's of children in Florida and I am feeling proud bcz Indians are so brave and believe in god bcz god has more power then human— ranjeet singh (@ranjeets189) February 17, 2018
Proud of u mam. Indian every were top of the world— Pradeep Unny (@pradeep_unny) February 17, 2018