A teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, said she was “prepared to die” when a gunman entered her classroom on Feb. 14.
English teacher Dara Haas was in one of the first classrooms targeted by the shooter last week and opened up to “TODAY” about her horrific experience. Haas cried as she remembered seeing 14-year-old Alex Schachter bleeding after being shot.
“And my students, they were so brave. I called 911 and asked to get to my student who was injured. I couldn’t get to him,” she cried. “And 911 said, ‘He’s coming back.’ He had already shot my room twice. Wasn’t that enough? But no, he was coming back.”
Haas said that she tried to aid her students by hugging them close. Three of her students died in the classroom.
“It’s so hard to grasp that I lost their sweet little faces,” she said.
Sixteen-year-old Jack McLeod said he was stuck in a hallway in the school when the firing started, and had nowhere to go. A math teacher, Mary “Mama” Trizzino, broke protocol to bring students into her room.
“I turned to the kids and said, ‘I want you to know that if anyone comes through that door to harm you, they will have to come through me. I will be the first defense. They will have to shoot me to get to you, and maybe that will give you a chance,'” she said. She and her students were rescued 90 minutes later.
The teacher tearfully said she is confident that this generation of students will make changes after this incident.
“Eventually, we will heal, but now is the time to make a change and to do something,” McLoud said.