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'Heroic' teacher Jason Seaman speaks publicly for first time since Noblesville school shooting


Noblesville West Middle School teacher Jason Seaman discusses how he is still processing the events that occurred in his classroom. Seaman and a student were injured Friday, May 25, before Seaman tackled and subdued the shooter.  Matt Begala

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Jason Seaman, the teacher who stopped an active shooter at Noblesville West Middle School, said in a public address he is still processing the events that occurred Friday.

Seaman made his first public appearance Monday morning in the Noblesville Schools Educational Services Center. The shooting occurred in his classroom at the middle school, leaving him and seventh-grade student Ella Whistler injured. 

Seaman tackled the shooter and subdued him before the shooter was taken into custody. The case, which is the 23rd U.S. school shooting in 2018, is still under investigation.

Whistler was shot multiple times during the shooting and is currently in critical but stable condition, according to school officials.

"I can't say enough how proud of Ella I am, and how we all should be,” Seaman said. “Her courage and strength at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable, and we should all continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover."

Seaman, along with Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer and Noblesville West Middle School principal Stacey Swan, briefly addressed the public without taking questions. 

He said the attention made him feel uncomfortable, but he wanted everyone to know his actions were because of the care and passion he has for his students. 

“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. So that's why I did what I did that day."

He thanked the students, officials and first responders, as well as Noblesville High School student Jackson Ramey, who started a GoFundMe page for the Seaman family. 

Before Seaman’s address, Niedermeyer discussed Whistler’s progress in the hospital, along with the services the school district was providing. After thanking Seaman for his heroism, she announced counseling services will be available throughout the summer and the following school year for all students.

“That’s an important part of the healing process,” Niedermeyer said.

Swan spoke after Niedermeyer, saying there were many people to thank in addition to Seaman, including school nurses for providing immediate medical care and the teachers for leading students to safety.

“This community and Noblesville West will be forever changed by the events on Friday,” Swan said.

After the conference, Seaman attended the sectional playoff game for Noblesville High School’s baseball team against Hamilton Southeastern High School at Dunker Field in Noblesville, where he was honored before the game.

As Seaman arrived, students began chanting his name and high-fiving him as he walked past. Spectators whooped and beat their chests as families and community members continued to pile in.

Noblesville High School Senior Tyler Owens throws a pitch during an IHSAA playoff game Monday, May 28, at Dunker Field in Noblesville. Noblesville defeated the Hamilton Southeastern Royals 6-3. Matt Begala

Despite the heat, the field was overflowing with hundreds of people who wanted to watch Seaman be honored. A moment of silence was observed for Whistler and Seaman. The bleachers were filled with a sea of white T-shirts, all reading “#NOBStrong, You are the Reason I Teach.” 

The shirts were sold at the game to raise money for Seaman and Whistler. They sold out at the beginning of the game, raising more than $10,000.

Noblesville High School senior Bryce Randolph waits for a pitch during an IHSAA playoff games Monday, May 28, at Dunker Field in Noblesville. Heart symbols were worn on the back of Noblesville's batting helmets in recognition of the school shooting that took place Friday, May 25, at Noblesville West Middle School.  Matt Begala

Though the crowd erupted each time Noblesville scored a run, many seemed happy just to be standing outside, hugging their friends and family, and discussing how grateful they were that things weren't as bad as they could have been.

As the crowd cheered for a school that had just experienced great hardship, the Noblesville Millers won the game, 6-3. 

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