Teacher Martha Rivera Alanis was awarded a certificate for showing “outstanding civic courage” for her steady performance during a gunfight in the northern industrial hub of Monterrey.
As Miss Rivera Alanis proudly held up the framed certificate outside the local Governor’s office she said she was not concerned with fame – only the safety of her 5- and 6-year-old pupils. “Of course, I was afraid, but I tell you, my kids get me through it,” she said following the private ceremony.
Miss Rivera Alanis used her cell phone to tape the video, in which she is heard coaxing her 15 pupils to lie flat on the floor…
Then, loud bursts of gunfire break out, which local paramedics later confirmed were the sound of gunmen killing five people at a taxi stand a block from the school…
In the video, the teacher tries to take the children’s minds off the gunfire, leading them in a song from television show Barney & Friends.
“If the rain drops were chocolate, I would love to be there, opening my mouth to taste them,” the class sang as they hugged the floor at the Alfonso Reyes school.
“My only thought was to take their minds off that noise,” she told reporters Monday. “So I thought of that song…”
A mother of two children, she said her young students had set an example for the rest of the city. “I’m going to carry on, of course it is possible,” she said. “If my 5- and 6-year-olds can do it, it is up to the rest of us to carry on.”
What a terrible life. What courage and love.