NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – They weren’t going to play the baseball games. Not here in Noblesville. Not three days after … that.
That was the school district’s first thought after evil came calling on a classroom at Noblesville West Middle School, where a student pulled out two pistols in science class Friday morning and opened fire. One classmate, 13-year-old Ella Whistler, was shot in the chest and airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition. Science teacher Jason Seaman disarmed the shooter, but not before being shot several times himself.
This was terror. It was chaos. A baseball state playoff game? Here? Three days after that? Wasn’t going to happen. That’s what the school district announced Friday, hours after the shootings.
But then the people at Noblesville got to thinking …
Yes, they decided. A baseball game. Here.
Because life goes on.
The first game was Monday morning. By the time it was over, kids were giggling and parents were crying and the Noblesville High baseball team — the victorious Noblesville High baseball team — was singing the school fight song but changing the lyrics, changing them to send a message to Ella Whistler.
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Before I tell you about the game, about the Noblesville players, about the song, let me tell you about Jason Seaman: He doesn’t want the attention. Can you imagine? This is his turn in the spotlight, the best kind of spotlight — he’s a hero — and President Trump is enthusiastically tweeting his name and “Good Morning America” is trying to get him on camera and he doesn’t understand why we don’t get it:
He didn’t do anything remarkable.
His opinion, not mine. My opinion? Jason Seaman represents the best of us, an adult with brains and talent who chose a mostly thankless career with long hours and little pay. He became a teacher. That right there makes him the best of us. What happened Friday, whatever he did to disarm the shooter, the details of which remain mostly unknown? That makes him even better.
He doesn’t see any of it that way, which makes him better still.
For the first time since the shooting, Seaman spoke publicly Monday morning. He fielded no questions at the school district’s administrative building, just limped slightly to the podium and read from a statement that lasted 2 minutes, 17 seconds.