A student who survived the Parkland high school massacre has accused one of his teachers of locking him and more than a dozen other students in the hallway as the gunman opened fire.
Josh Gallagher, a junior from Coral Springs, Florida, posted a scathing message on social media accusing his math teacher, Jim Gard of Pompano Beach, of being a coward during the February 14 massacre.
Gard defended himself, telling the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he was simply following the rules and that he didn’t see any students in the hall.
‘I’m a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting,’ Gallagher wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
‘Before the shooting took place I was located in the 700 building which is right next to the freshmen building facing it in my Math class with my Teacher Jim Gard,’ he writes.
‘It was around the time of 2:20 when we had a fire alarm go off, everyone in my class was confused because we had one take place previously in the day.’
As the class evacuated for the fire drill, gunshots were heard.
‘At this point we all ducked and shock kicked in for half a second of what is happening,’ he writes.
That’s when Gallagher says he and his classmates sprinted back to their room.
‘As we made it to the door we found out the door was locked,’ he writes.
‘Which then left me and 15 other students in the hallways ducking as the screams of classmates and gunshots took over the noise around me.’
Gallagher writes that he and the others were ‘ducking and in fear for our lives’ a full four minutes.
‘I called my dad [who is a high-ranking officer in the Coral Springs Police Department] up on the phone thinking this could be the last time I speak to him,’ he writes.
‘As I was on the phone with him as he tried to calm me down, a teacher I never seen before opened [sic] the door for me and 14 other classmates to flee danger.
‘When I got into the classroom I told my dad I loved him, he then said it back to me and he hung up because he was a first responder running into the freshmen building.’
‘God bless the teacher who opened [sic] the door to save us from danger…
‘Hours and days after the shooting I came to found out [sic] … Jim Gard actually ran back into the classroom without turning around and locked his door.
‘He left 75 percent of his students out in the hallway to be slaughtered.
‘How can a man such as him be viewed as a hero in the media?
‘While the shooting was happening and students were locked in the hall he actually called a news station [to] inform them what was going on instead of attempting or even thinking to save kids he left in the hall!’
Gallagher blasted Gard as an ‘opportunist’ and ‘nothing but a coward.’
‘He has re-victimized the students he left out of his class by calling himself a hero,’ he writes.
Gard defended his actions, saying that he had to lock the door as mandated by the rules during a fire drill.