MEXICO CITY – The teacher who kept a group of kindergarten students calm during an intense shootout last week in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey has received numerous messages of congratulations on her Twitter account.
The story came to light Saturday when a video apparently taken with a cell phone was posted on YouTube showing a group of children stretched out on the floor while their teacher sang to them and kept telling them to stay down.
A furious shootout is heard in the background.
One of the more than 500 followers on the teacher’s account – @mrivera1276 – said in a message: “Our expressions of affectionate admiration and respect, teacher, all Mexico needs heroes like that.”
The teacher, whose name has not been revealed, answered humbly to these words of appreciation.
“I wasn’t looking to become famous or even acknowledged – I just found myself in such a moment with sufficient wit to show what is really happening,” she said, rejecting invitations to give interviews.
The list of the teacher’s followers on Twitter surged on Sunday.
In one of her tweets in response, the educator said that she was the one who took the video of the kids on the floor following her instructions and singing all the while.
She was not, however, the one who uploaded the video to YouTube, but rather “third parties” did it, the teacher said.
In response to a tweet criticizing her for showing the children’s faces, the teacher – who does not appear in the video – said that her intention was not to risk the lives of her little ones but to show “reality.”
The children in the video are heard singing against bursts of gunfire in the background.
In gratitude for the dozens of tweets, the teacher signs off sending “chocolate kisses,” an allusion to the song the children were singing.
The children attend a kindergarten in the La Estanzuela neighborhood near where five men were gunned down on Friday by hitmen traveling in two SUVs, Mexican media reported.
The media reports, however, have not been confirmed by officials.
The war between rival drug cartels for control of Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon state, has left hundreds of people dead.
Nuevo Leon’s government has trained thousands of teachers in how to handle emergency situations both in the classroom and near campuses.