Oklahoma Teacher Shelters Children From Tornado With Her Body

Every now and then people do things that revive one’s faith in humanity. This teacher‘s story is one of such, God bless her.

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Fourth-grader in demolished Oklahoma school describes the roar of the storm as he lay in a school bathroom, covered up for safety by a teacher.

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Authorities said that the storm was responsible for the deaths of at least seven students at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.
GENE BLEVINS/REUTERS
Authorities said that the storm was responsible for the deaths of at least seven students at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.
The heroes of Monday’s violent tornado often seem more heroic when the lives they save are those of children.

Rhonda Crosswhite is one of those heroines.

Crosswhite, a sixth-grade teacher at the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla. — a building that took a powerful hit from the storm — covered six students with her body, lying on top of them in one of the school’s bathroom stalls when the building, a she put it, “just started coming down.”

Among those she helped was fourth-grader Damian Britten, who recounted his experience to Today.com.

Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school.
PAUL HELLSTERN/AP
Teachers carry children away from Briarwood Elementary school.

“We heard the sirens go off and then we all ran into the hallway,” Damian said.” Some of us had a math book and some of us had our backpacks. [THE SIRENS] went off again, and we ducked again. They went off again, and then we heard the tornado and it sounded like a train coming by.”

The teacher, he said, was covering him and his friend Zachary.

“I told her we were fine because we were holding on to something, and then she went over to my friend Antonio and covered him, so she saved our lives,” he said.

Briarwood Elementary teacher Mike Murphy comforts Aiden Stuck, 7, as he waits for his mother at the school after a tornado destroyed the school.
NATE BILLINGS/AP
Briarwood Elementary teacher Mike Murphy comforts Aiden Stuck, 7, as he waits for his mother at the school after a tornado destroyed the school.

Damien and his brother Bobby, a sixth-grader who also survived the storm, were among the lucky children. Authorities said that the storm was responsible for the deaths of at least seven students at the school.

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb told reporters Tuesday morning. “My understanding, this school … Plaza Towers, they had a basement. Quite frankly, don’t mean to be graphic, but that’s why some of the children drowned, because they were in the basement area.”

Right before the storm hit at 3 p.m., about 30 children at Plaza Towers – fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders – were taken from their school to a nearby church for shelter. Afterward, responders were able to pull some children from the wreckage. Firefighter Russ Locke was among those who helped. “You have your own kids, and you want to find other people’s kids and for it all to be OK,” he said. “And sometimes it doesn’t work out like that.”‘

Meanwhile, emergency personnel continued Tuesday to scour the school’s rubble — a scene of twisted I-beams and crumbled cinder blocks.

Amid the chaos Monday afternoon, Crosswhite kept cool. Covering the kids, she said, “One of my little boys just kept saying, ‘I love you, I love you, please don’t die with me.’

“I never thought I was going to die. The whole time I just kept screaming to them, ‘Quit worrying; we’re fine, we’re fine.’ And I’m very loud, so I just hoped they could hear me because I could hear them screaming. [ONE GIRL] was sobbing, and I was like, ‘We’re going to be fine, we’re going to be fine, I’m protecting you.’ And then I said a few prayers. ‘God please take care of my kids.”’

(and He did)

 

Culled from nydailynews.com

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