In fourth period on Feb. 14, AP Psychology teacher Ronit Reoven was giving a lesson on renowned psychologist Sigmund Freud and the psychosexual stages of development. Reoven looked at the clock to see how much time she had left to teach; it was a few minutes past 2:15.
Two or so minutes later, the class heard deafening booms coming from the hallway. The students were startled, springing out of their desks and immediately running to the opposite side of the door and toward the windows on the other side.
“They were trying to get to the side of the glass window. I stopped them and made them go to the right side. ‘Go behind my desk, go behind my desk,’” Reoven said.
While the students were running to hide by the wall of the door, most students were able to squeeze in against the wall and hide. Thankfully, being the third classroom targeted, the students had enough time to listen to Reoven and run to the opposite side.
“Mind you I have 31 students; that’s a lot to get to fit along the wall where the classroom door is. They squeezed in, huddled, laid on top of each other, whatever they could on that wall,” Reoven said.
Reoven and her students did not have sight of the shooter during any point of the shooting. He shot in and sadly four students on the outskirts of the wall were hit. Of the four students, three were wounded and brought to the hospital to treat the injuries while the other passed away inside the classroom.
Reoven waited until there was nothing but silence in the hallway so that she could assess what had happened to her students. As she looked over her students, one had an arm wound. Using a baby blanket her students passed to her from on top of her class keurig, she wrapped the wound, creating a makeshift tourniquet.
For the other two injured students, she could see that one was stable, and the other had multiple wounds, which caused her to come to the decision that not moving the student would be the best option.
After attending to her students, Reoven listened through the closet to hear what activity was happening in the hall. At this point, she wanted to get attention from the authorities so she stood by the broken window until she could hear them.
In the midst of everything one student, senior Harrison Albert, was able to get ahold of 911 since the beginning. He had been telling them everything that was going on, and eventually they told him that authorities were on the way.
The students helped Reoven throughout the tragedy by staying at her side, listening to her and staying calm and quiet.
“It was weird; like as much as the kids were looking to me for safety and comfort, I needed that also and there were a couple kids next to me that were helping me,” Reoven said. “As weird as it might sound, I was looking for strength also from the kids as they were looking to me for strength. I don’t know how I did what I did to be honest… I did what I could, and I did what I needed to do.”
Reoven emphasized how her student, junior Logan Mitchell, was able to calm her down throughout the whole traumatic experience. Mitchell would show his agreement and justify what actions Reoven was making to help keep her calm.
“[Logan] was my voice of reason. He would sit next to me, look at me in the eye. He would tell me, ‘it’s okay, it’s going to be okay,’ repeatedly… he was with me, you know with me,” Reoven said.
Once the SWAT team had arrived and entered the freshman building, Reoven stuck her head out of the broken glass window on the classroom door to call for them urgently saying she had injured students. The SWAT officers quickly picked up the injured and ran outside to the ambulances with them one by one until they allowed for Reoven and her students to get to safety across the street.
Reoven’s extraordinary act of calling her students to turn around and hide against the wall by the classroom door while they were shuffling to the opposite side saved many lives. MSD and the Parkland community appreciate and recognize Reoven and her students’ courage and heroism during the tragedy of Valentine’s Day.