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'Heroic' gym teacher praised
Helped to keep students safe during horrifying ordeal


York Region's police chief hailed a gym teacher at a Thornhill private school as a hero Tuesday, the day after a jewelry store heist that led to a terrifying shootout and subsequent hostage-taking situation.
"This teacher clearly put himself between the suspect and the kids," Chief Armand La Barge said at a Tuesday press conference.
"From what I've been told, (he's) an individual that was very heroic," York's top cop added. "His immediate thought appeared to be ... the safety of the kids." …
…One girl said the gunman was a few metres away and he appeared to point the silver gun he was carrying at her gym teacher.
…The student said the teacher positioned himself between the armed man and his students and yelled at the kids to "run, run, run" inside the school.
…We're all so proud of him and how brave he was, that he would put our lives ahead of his," Sierra said, bursting into tears as she became overwhelmed by her emotions…

…David Prashker, the school's director, is also extremely relieved that no students were hurt in the incident.
…He doesn't want to be a hero," Prashker said. "He just did his duty, and he's quite clear about that. He did what he believed was the right, professional thing to do, (what) any dedicated teacher would do."



Quick-thinking teacher lauded after gun threat
But Vaughan gym instructor who led class to safety doesn't want to be called a hero

Jun 13, 2007 04:30 AM

Peter Edwards and Tim Lai
Staff Reporters

A quick-thinking gym teacher in Vaughan was credited with rushing students to safety after a daylight jewellery store robbery led to a schoolyard shootout. Zlatko Sarcevic, who has taught for 14 years at Leo Baeck Day School, on Atkinson Ave., near Bathurst St., quickly ushered his Grade 4 gym class out of harm's way after he noticed a police helicopter overhead and a man hiding behind a garbage can in the school's yard shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. "He is certainly to be commended for his actions," York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge said at a news conference yesterday. Before Sarcevic was able to get all of the children back into the school, the gunman waved a pistol at him and the students. Seconds after the teacher and his Grade 4 class escaped into the school, the gunman opened fire on police, who returned a round of fire, police said. No one was hit in the exchange. David Prashker, the school's executive director, said Sarcevic doesn't want to be viewed as a hero, just someone who was doing his job. "He doesn't want to be seen as Matt Dillon in a cowboy western who put himself between an armed man and threatened children," said Prashker. He said all of his staff acted calmly during the lockdown. Parents, who had students in that particular gym class, said they were impressed with how Sarcevic handled the situation…



…"To be faced with such an unexpected crisis and to keep your cool, apparently the gym teacher's reaction was to shield the children, which takes a very special kind of person," parent Rhonda Levy told CTV News from outside Leo Baeck School on Tuesday.

…"I think he was very brave and I think he did the right thing. He handled it and was just worried about his children, which obviously comes first and yeah, I think he was a hero," parent Michelle Fisch said of the gym teacher who declined an interview…


A Section of Ten Trees has been planted in the Paul Feig Garden In Jerusalem, Israel

in honour of Zlatko Sarcevic (Sharetz)

In appreciation of your bravery and courage in protecting our children.

Our best wishes
The Parents of 4B
The Leo Baeck Day School