NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Hero teacher Jason Seaman made his first public appearances Monday, after being credited with tackling and disarming a student shooter in his classroom on Friday.
He was one of thousands of Noblesville Schools students, parents, and staff who flooded into Dunker Field for the Noblesville High School baseball sectional game Monday morning.
Seaman arrived at the game just an hour after speaking to the media at the Noblesville Schools Administration Building, where he said his actions Friday were the only acceptable actions he could have taken. He thanked those who have helped him in his rapid recovery and thanked the community for coming together with such strength.
During the Memorial Day pregame program, the announcer commended Seaman, injured seventh grader Ella Whistler and the staff at West Middle School for their brave actions during Friday’s shooting. The crowds held a moment of silence before listening to the national anthem and beginning the baseball game.
Seaman arrived shortly afterwards and was seated along the first baseline, in a shaded seated section reserved for school administrators and separated from the fans by a fence. He watched the game and was presented with the game baseball in the early innings.
“He saved everyone,” said Mackenzie Miller, an eighth grader at West Middle attending the game. “It would have been so much worse if he hadn’t been so brave.”
“He kind of protected all of us because if that gunman had gotten out, all us eighth graders would have been in the hallway, then it would have been a lot bigger,” explained Ashley Nickley, Miller’s classmate.
Miller admitted she normally wouldn’t have attended Monday’s baseball game, especially given the near-record heat, but wanted to support the community, Seaman and Ella.
“Everybody’s here to get shirts and probably talk and heal a little bit,” said Deb Satterfield, attending the game as an HSE Royals baseball fan from Fishers. “I think it’s fantastic that so many people from both sides are coming out to support the community, being right next door.”
“Obviously there is a baseball game but I’m not sure it’s about baseball today,” said Leah Wooldridge, athletic director for Noblesville Schools. “It’s overwhelming and just shows you what type of community Noblesville is to come and to back our kids.”
Seaman didn’t address the crowd or greet individual students during the game, but many there knew he attended and said they were impressed he cared enough and was healthy enough to come.
“I think it’s great for the students and the parents to know he’s here and he’s okay physically. I think it’s fantastic,” said Satterfield.
The sectional game broke a record for Noblesville Schools: upwards of 4,000 attendees. Assistant athletic director Tony Oilar said the usual attendance is around 1,000 fans.
That helped fundraiser #NoblesvilleStrong t-shirt sales sell out quickly. All 1,600 printed shirts sold out within minutes. Staff began sending fans online to purchase a shirt for $15, with proceeds to benefit Ella and her family, per Jason Seaman’s request.