Ex-college football player has touching message for students after risking his life to stop shooter


Jason Seaman, a seventh-grade science teacher at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana, risked his life to protect his students after a shooter opened fire in his classroom on Friday.

Despite being shot three times — in the abdomen, hip and forearm — the former college football player is reportedly out of surgery and on the road to recovery. One of his students, a 13-year-old girl, was injured critically, per ESPN, but if not for Seaman’s heroics, there might have been many more casualties.

And Seaman had a touching message for his students, letting them know that he was “doing great” and thanking them for their support.

“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care,” Seaman said in a written statement, according to The Indianapolis Star. “I want to let everyone know that I was injured but am doing great. To all students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”

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By all accounts, Seaman’s heroic actions on Friday to tackle the gunman and swat a gun out of his hand should not have come as any surprise.

“It’s not surprising, to be honest,” his brother, Jeremy, said of what Jason did. “He’s not really ever been the person to run away. When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”

Moreover, one of Seaman’s former students recounted how Seaman used to tell the class he would protect them in case of an active-shooter situation.

“I especially remember that he would throw himself on top of the shooter if he had to,” Noblesville High School freshman Molly Miles said, “which he proved today.”

Do you consider Seaman to be a hero?

“He always said that he was willing to sacrifice himself before he was willing to let anything happen to his students,” she added.

Seaman, 29, earned a reputation for excellence and hard work during his days as a defensive lineman at Southern Illinois University. He was on the school’s football team from 2007 to 2010, recording eight sacks and two forced fumbles in 47 games.

SIU football coach Nick Hill, who used to play with Seaman, said he could always count on him to “do the right thing.”

“He was a great teammate, one of the team’s hardest workers. You could always trust him to do the right thing,” Hill said.

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“Someone asked me if I was surprised by what he did, and I said ‘absolutely not,’ he was our type of kid,” said former SIU head coach Jerry Kill, who recruited Seaman and is now in charge of the school’s athletics department. “That’s what he stood for. He’s a great young man.”

Seaman’s playing career might have ended once he finished college, but he wasn’t done with football. In addition to teaching science at Noblesville, he is also a football coach.

“He’s a good coach,” said seventh-grader Mac Lynas, who played for Seaman this past season, “a good person.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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