NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) – An Indiana teacher who was shot while tackling and disarming a student inside his classroom said Monday that his swift decisions "were the only acceptable actions" to save his seventh-grade students.
Jason Seaman, speaking publicly for the first time since the shooting Friday, thanked the Noblesville community for its support and stressed that he wanted the focus to be on the only other person shot during the incident: a 13-year-old student who was seriously wounded.
"Her courage and strength at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable," Seaman said during a news conference at the school district’s administrative building. "We all should continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover."
Seaman is credited with stopping the armed student who entered his Noblesville West Middle School on Friday morning. Witnesses said the 29-year-old former college football player ran toward bullets as he tackled the student shooter. He was shot three times, according to his brother.
"I want to make it clear that my actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances," Seaman said. "I deeply care for my students and their well-being. That is why I did what I did that day."
He wore a white T-shirt emblazoned with the message: "#NOBStrong. You are the reason I teach." His shirt also showed the initials EW, honoring injured student Ella Whistler. Her family has said she was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, and school officials said Saturday that she was improving.
Seaman, who was released from the hospital Saturday, didn’t appear to show any pain or other sign of his injuries during the news conference. He spoke for just a few minutes and declined to answer questions from reporters.
Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer said her district will provide counseling throughout the summer and into next school year. The middle school was scheduled to remain closed Tuesday to provide counseling for students, staff and their families.
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