“Tell Them What a Jerk I Am”: Teacher Who Died in Florida Shooting Leaves Fiancée Surprising Funeral Instructions

florida shooting

Like football coach Aaron Feis who died taking bullets for his students in the Florida school shooting last week, geography teacher, Scott Beigel, was too one of the MSD High School heroes who sacrificed his life protecting others.

The instructor unlocked the door of his classroom to let students in who were trying to escape the gunman. Tragically, he was shot down by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz before he could re-lock the door.

Since Beigel’s passing, thousands have come forward to praise and commemorate the brave, selfless teacher.

However, according to instructions he left his fiancée, Gwen Gossler, the 35-year-old never wanted to be remembered as a hero. One night, when the couple was watching news coverage of an earlier shooting, Beigel made a request to Gossler that is further indicative of his humble character.

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“Promise me if this ever happens to me, you will tell them the truth—tell them what a jerk I am, don’t talk about the hero stuff,” said Gossler. “OK, Scott, I did what you asked. Now I can tell the truth. You are an amazingly special person. You are my first love and my soulmate.’’

Like Gossler, it seems Beigel’s students couldn’t agree more that their teacher was far from the “jerk” he projected himself to be.

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“Mr. Beigel was my hero and he still will forever be my hero,” said student Kelsey Friend to CNN, while choking back tears. “I will never forget the actions that he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom.”

“If his family is watching this,” she continued, “please know that your son or brother was an amazing person and I am alive today because of him,” adding that she’s “100 percent certain” Beigel saved her life.

“Yesterday a man who had a profound impact on me and so many others was murdered in a mass shooting,” tweeted Jason Lederman in remembrance of the fallen teacher. “Scott Beigel was always a hero and someone who brought joy and compassion to all those he knew. We will all mourn Scott—the world is a sadder place without him in it”

Beigel is one of the seventeen people who was killed in the Florida school shooting, but he will forever be remembered as one who died so that others may live.

With all due respect, sir—”jerks” don’t do that. But heroes do. ❤️

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.