Jason Seaman had made a promise to his students as they practiced active shooter drills that in the event of a real school shooting, he would do whatever it took to keep them safe.
He fulfilled that promise this week. The science teacher at Noblesville West Middle School was able to disable a student who burst into the room with two handguns prepared to open fire, tackling the seventh grader. As the New York Post noted, students remembered the promise Seaman had made to them.
“I especially remember that he would throw himself on top of the shooter if he had to — which he proved,” said Molly Miles, who had Seaman for a teacher in middle school and has since moved to Noblesville High School.
“He always said that he was willing to sacrifice himself before he was willing to let anything happen to his students.”
Students said that Jason Seaman happened to be holding a basketball when the gunman came into the room, so he threw the ball at the boy and then ran to tackle him. Seaman knocked the gun away from the shooter and laid on top of the boy so he wouldn’t be able to do anything.
The science teacher was shot in the abdomen, hip, and forearm, but was released from the hospital on Saturday and was sent home to recover. No one was killed in the shooting, but 13-year-old Ella Whistler was left in critical but stable condition.
To those who know Jason Seaman, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that he would step in to save his students — and that he happened to be holding a basketball at the time. The 29-year-old has quite an athletic resume, playing defensive end on the Southern Illinois University football team and helping to coach the football and track teams at his school.
“Someone asked me if I was surprised by what he did, and I said ‘absolutely not,’ he was our type of kid,” Jerry Kill, Jason’s former coach at SIU, told ESPN. “That’s what he stood for. He’s a great young man.”
Family members also said it has always been Jason’s personality to put others ahead of himself. Seaman is a parent himself, with two young children at home.
#Salukis head coach @17NickHill played one season with Jason Seaman, the hero of school shooting in Indiana. “He was a great teammate, one of the team's hardest workers. You could always trust him to do the right thing.” pic.twitter.com/ge1sTSOGTJ
— Saluki Football (@SIU_Football) May 25, 2018
Jason Seaman released a statement as he was released from the hospital this weekend thanking the first responders and thanking students for all the support they had shown him.