Florida teacher's quick action may have saved the lives of students during shooting

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.

Photo: Shanthi Viswanathan

“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 during the eighteenth school shooting of 2018.

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 to safety before shutting the door and was fatally struck by a bullet.

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

RELATED: Vigils for the tragedy

14 PHOTOS
Vigils held after deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida
See Gallery
Vigils held after deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida
People attend a candlelight vigil the day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Students mourn during a community prayer vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at Parkridge Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
A woman lights a candle during a vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Residents attend a candlelight vigil the day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
A man reacts during a candlelight vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Daniel Journey (C), an 18-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, attends a community prayer vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at his school, at Parkridge Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. Journey said he lost two friends he had known and grown up with since they were seven years old in the shooting. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
A handwritten note to a lost friend is surrounded by candles and flowers at a candlelight vigil the day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
A student places a candle with other tributes at a vigil the day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
Mourners react during a community prayer vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at Parkridge Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Mourners react during a community prayer vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at Parkridge Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
A student rests his head against his mother as they attend a community prayer vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at Parkridge Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
People attend a candlelight vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, U.S. February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Students mourn at a community prayer vigil for victims of yesterday's shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, at Parkridge Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Mother and Teenage Son Survive Florida Mass Shootings Just 13 Months Apart

Florida Attack Timeline: How Nikolas Cruz Killed 17 Students Before Going to McDonald's

Grieving Mother of Florida School Shooting Victim Demands Trump 'Do Something' About Gun Violence

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.