ABC News has a gripping interview with two teachers at Briarwood Elementary in Moore, Okla., one of the two elementary schools struck by the horrific tornado that ripped through the town yesterday afternoon. Once again, it appears that teachers acted with near-mind-boggling composure and courage in the face of danger—and quite likely saved lives in the process.
Here’s an excerpt from Briarwood teacher Cindy Lowe’s account of events:
I actually saw the tornado coming and knew how serious it was and was just trying to calm the children down, but yet more of the same. Just like Sherry said, getting them covered up, you know, we practice tornado drills and things like this and I had to tell them, this is not a drill, and we need to be safe and just laying my body on top of as many kids as I could to help out.
This—sadly? amazingly?—is not the first time in recent months we’ve heard of teachers using their own bodies to shield their students from harm.
But grief remains the predominent emotion today: At last count, at least 24 people, including eight children, died as a result of the Oklahoma tornado. Some 120 were injured. At least seven children were found drowned in a pool of water at Plaza Towers Elementary School, whose walls and roof had collapsed when the storm hit.
Update, May 22: New story today from the Associated Press: Teachers Credited With Saving Students in Okla. “Students and parents recounted stories Tuesday of brave teachers who sheltered their pupils, in some cases by herding them into a closet and a restroom amid the fear and panic.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.