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Teachers Praised For Heroic Actions During Newtown School Massacre

Janet Vollmer (credit: CBS 2)

Janet Vollmer (credit: CBS 2)

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NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Two teachers were being honored as heroes Saturday for their actions to protect their students during the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

As CBS 2’s Rob Morrison reported, one of those teachers was Kaitlin Roig, who brought her first grade class into a bathroom and pulled a bookcase in front of the door to protect the children.

Roig told her children “the bad guys weren’t going to get them, and the good guys were on their way.”

She also told the children she loved them, because she thought those might be the last words they would ever hear.

Roig’s class was rescued and brought to safety, but 20 children and eight adults lost their lives when Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire on two classrooms at the school.

Meanwhile, when kindergarten teacher Janet Vollmer heard the gunshots, she took her children to the back of the room, locked the door and closed the blinds.

Vollmer was busy teaching her class someone engaged the public address system. She heard what sounded like gunfire, but tried to keep her kids distracted.

Despite the children hearing the gunshots, Vollmer said she tried keep the children calm by telling them a custodian was probably on the roof retrieving a soccer ball.

But to Vollmer and her two teacher aides, it was clear something was terribly wrong. She said they drew the shades and locked the classroom door. She said some of her 19 little ones were getting worried.

“Children started to say at one point, ‘I’m scared,'” Vollmer said.

After about a half hour, police made it to their room and it was time to escort the children out of the classroom and through a potentially terrifying scene.

“As I’m going by the hallway, I as the grownup — I do spot blood on the floor. So I know that things aren’t good.” Vollmer said. “I don’t know whether any of them saw that — we kept going.”

At last the class made it to safety. But when some other parents approached Vollmer looking for their children, she could not be reassuring.

“Those parents were coming to me ‘Did you see’ so and so,” Vollmer said. “[I said] ‘no.'”

Vollmer said the number one job she had on Friday was to keep her students safe. They all got out of the school and were taken to a nearby firehouse.

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