On February 14, 17 people, most of them students, were murdered by a gunman who broke into a high school in Parkland, Florida. The shooting has occupied America's consciousness as stories about what happened in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School come to light.
In the midst of the sorrow, stories about hero students and teachers were reported. Peter Wang, a student who died trying to save his friends was buried with full military honors. Aaron Fies, a football coach was honored when he died after sacrificing his life to protect his students.
Jim Gard, a math teacher at the high school was also hailed as a hero after he claimed he shielded six students in his classroom when the shooter was only 50 feet away.
But just as hearts are starting to heal following the shooting, disturbing allegations about one of the heroes is tarnishing the story he told the media.
Two students who survived the shooting have come forward to claim that Jim Gard, the math teacher, was not in fact a hero as we have come to think. Rather, they claim, he locked the door on them and 13 other classmates and refused to open it even while they banged on the classroom door and begged him to let them in.
The first student, Josh Gallagher, said he was in Gard's classroom when the fire alarm went off. He said himself and 14 of his classmates filed out of the class before they realized there was a shooter in the school.
"As we made it to the door, we found out the door was locked," Gallagher said.
"Which then left me and 14 other students left in the hallways ducking as the screams of classmates and gunshots took over the noise around me. We were stuck in the hall for four total minutes ducking and in fear for our lives."
Gallagher goes on to say he called his father, thinking this was the last time he was going to speak to him. According to him, they were finally saved when another teacher opened their door and let them into their classroom.
Shortly after Gallagher's bombshell, another student has come forward to insist that this is, in fact, what happened on that day.
On Twitter, Connor Dietrich said, "As one of the kids left in the hallway, I want people to understand how terrifying and defenseless I personally felt. The person I had to rely on left us to die and that's not okay."
After the claims went viral on Twitter, Jim Gard finally responded.
The math teacher expressed surprise at the students' accusations. According to him, he was simply following protocol and did nothing wrong.
After they were informed that there was an active shooter, the teacher said he rushed back into the classroom with six other students and locked the door.
"I looked back down the hall and no one was around - no one," he said. "You have to close the door. That's protocol. We have no choice."
Gard said they huddled in the dark until they heard banging. But when he walked over to the door, the banging stopped. The teacher speculates the students' anger might have been encouraged by their parents.
He said, "Fast forward to Sunday, when the parents came back for an open house. All of a sudden, this kid comes over and starts screaming at me. Then his father started screaming at me. This is insane."
Most people online have been supportive of the students with some teachers calling on Gard to be terminated immediately.
Gallagher says he does not want to sensationalize the incident, but only brought attention to it to encourage a change to the protocol.
"I want change to happen when it comes to protocol and the way this situation is handled," he told media, "No child can feel the way I did."