Kelsey Friend's favorite teacher, Scott Beigel, died in the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Today, she told his mother that he "is and forever will be (her) hero ... He's just amazing." https://t.co/NOybV8nYfb pic.twitter.com/yeRhFDmBJ6— New Day (@NewDay) February 22, 2018
On the day of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, geography teacher
Scott Beigel lost his life protecting a classroom of his students. Now, one of the students he saved is repaying him in a heartbreaking and profound way.
The 35-year-old teacher had a tradition of calling his mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, on his way home every day. Following his death, Linda revealed to CNN that freshman Kelsey Friend has offered to call her every day after school to keep the tradition going.
"Kelsey's promised that she would call me on her way home from school every day, the way Scott used to call me, and let me know what's going on," Linda said. "We're going to keep in touch forever."
Kelsey described her late teacher as her hero. On the day of the shooting, Kelsey rushed back toward her classroom with several classmates after hearing gunshots. Scott unlocked the door to let the students in and bring them to safety. It was then that he was killed by the shooter. "He 100 percent saved my life. If it wasn't for him, I might not be here right now," said Kelsey.
Scott's lifelong impact on his students is evident. "Every moment that goes by, either I'm thinking about his silly jokes or the way he laughed or his smile or just the way he taught me," Kelsey said. "As a student, I don't really say I love my teachers as much, but Mr. Beigel, I will stand here proudly and say I loved my teacher."
Scott's mom said the praise doesn't surprise her. "That's the way Scott was. He loved teaching," she said. "I just hope wherever he is — and I wish I knew — but wherever he is, I hope he understands that he did get through. He really got through."