A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who survived the Valentine's Day attack is calling teacher Jim Gard a coward, but Gard, a Mount Carmel, Pa. native, is denying the accusation and wondering if it's the teen or the parent making those comments on social media.
Gard, a math teacher for more than 30 years, including the last 10 at Douglas High, has been in the national media since the shooting, discussing what happened and what he did to help gather students to a classroom for safety during the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead and several others wounded.
Gard once again ended up in the national spotlight this weekend, when one of his students used social media to call Gard a "coward."
Student Josh Gallagher wrote on Twitter that Gard left 75 percent of his students in the hallway to be "slaughtered." Gallagher claims students were left in the hallway for several minutes while shots were being fired.
A second student, Connor Dietrich, has also criticized Gard on Twitter, according to published reports.
On Sunday, Gard expressed shock at the accusations and told The Daily Item of Sunbury, Pa, that he believes Josh Gallagher is being used by the father, Ryan Gallagher, a Coral Springs police captain and special operations officer.
Gard said he arrived at the school last Sunday for an event which allowed students and parents to come back to the high school prior to returning to classes.
Gard said he met with students and parents and when the day was wrapping up at about 4:30 p.m. he walked outside and was encountered by the student and his father. Gard said the father began to verbally assault him and yell in his face, he said.
"The student came up to me and said I left people in the hallway to die," Gard said by phone from his Florida home. "Then his father got in my face and began to yell and scream.
"He was screaming that I didn't do my job," Gard added. "I am telling you that is not true and I did everything I could."
Gard said once he got about six students in the classroom for safety, he heard loud knocks on the classroom door. When he went to see who it was, he said, no one was there.
"There was silence and I looked and no one was around," he said. "There was so much commotion going on, but I looked and checked to see."
The incident last Sunday between the police detective and Gard lasted several minutes before Gard said other parents began to come up to him to see if he was alright.
An incident report was filed to the Coral Springs Police Department and the incident is under internal investigation, Gard said.
On Sunday, Coral Springs Police detective and public information officer Ernesto Bruna said he couldn't comment on the incident because it is an open investigation and occurred outside of Coral Springs jurisdiction.
"We are not at liberty to give out any information," Bruna said.
"I think he is using his son to get to me," Gard said. "I think his son is a terrific kid and great student. I hold no animosity toward the student whatsoever."
Gard said Josh Gallagher was in his class but the student has since changed his schedule.
This is not the first case of students, community members or public officials accusing others of not doing more when the incident began.
Shortly after the shooting it was reported that Broward County Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson stood outside while the shooting was taking place inside the school.
Also, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has faced criticism for how complaints about accused gunman Nikolas Cruz were handled prior to the shooting.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered an investigation into law enforcement's response to the shooting.
Even with the new controversy brewing, Gard said he is thrilled to be back in the classroom.
"I am just happy to be back with the students," he said.
The (Sunbury, Pa.) Daily Item is a sister newspaper of the Clinton Herald. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.