A heroic teacher who died while saving students during the school shooting last week gave his fiancée specific instructions should he die in a school shooting.
Scott Beigel, a native of Long Island, New York, was one of several teachers who was gunned down while protecting students on Feb. 14.
His fiancée Gwen Gossler said that she and Beigel were once watching television coverage of a school shooting when he told her, “Promise me if this ever happens to me, you will tell them the truth—tell them what a jerk I am, don’t talk about the hero stuff,” Gossler said at his funeral in Florida.
“OK, Scott, I did what you asked,’’ the tearful woman said, reported The New York Post. “Now I can tell the truth. You are an amazingly special person. You are my first love and my soulmate.’’
Beigel was a 35-year-old geography teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Beigel was in his classroom when Nikolas Cruz began gunning people down inside the school.
Kelsey Friend, a student, said that he saved her life.
“He unlocked the door and let us in,” Friend told ABC. “I had thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t. When he opened the door, he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get the chance to.
“He was in the doorway and the door was still open and the shooter probably didn’t know we were in there because he was lying on the floor. If the shooter had come in the room, I probably wouldn’t be [alive].”
— Chad Williams (@chad_williams05) February 15, 2018
Friend said she is forever grateful to the teacher.
“Mr. Beigel was my hero and he still will forever be my hero. I will never forget the actions that he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom. I am alive today because of him,” she told CNN.
“If I could see him right now … I’d give him a huge teddy bear to say thank you. But, unfortunately, I can’t do that,” she said.
Friend’s mother Linda Schulman told the Sun-Sentinel that he was the school’s cross country coach in addition to his teaching duties, and in the summers he worked as a camp counselor.
She said he wanted to be a teacher because of his experiences at Starlight Summer Camp in Pennsylvania, which he began attending when he was 7 years old.
“He loved going to camp, and he loved working with the kids,” she said. “He is 35 and he still goes there.”
The camp on Facebook called Beigel “Starlight’s beloved friend and hero.”
Robert Adler said on the social media website said that Beigel was a great person.