Frenship elementary school reacts to tornado disaster
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
Twenty-four hours after the devastating tornados south of Oklahoma City, students at North Ridge Elementary school were still trying to process what happened.
"We told them we have a plan, we've practiced our plan, we're going to keep you safe here," said second grade teacher Christy Hoodenpyle. "Now for those children that are in Oklahoma, I don't know what we could do for them right now but we'll just pray that they are able to rescue those children."
Hoodenpyle had scheduled a visit from KCBD meteorologist John Robison a week prior to come speak to the entire second grade. When the day came on Tuesday, the children naturally had many questions about tornados.
John answered everything from "How large can tornados get?" and "Can they destroy a home?" to a question from one curious young man who asked if a tornado could kill a "giant python."
John spoke to the children about safety tips such as wearing a bicycle helmet if a tornado has touched down in your neighborhood and telling them the correct places to hide.
"I liked it," said North Ridge Elementary second grade student Avery Biera. "He could show us the pictures of what could happen and told us what to do."
Avery tried to understand everything that she had seen on television.
"I saw houses knocked over and a tornado. It looked really bad. They lost their houses and they didn't have anywhere to be," Avery said.
Every student we spoke with said the same thing when asked about tornado safety: cover your head and get down on the ground. Hoodenpyle says the teachers make sure every drill is taken seriously.
"We have to pretend like this is a real drill. You need to go quickly, you need to get in your position as quickly as possible because a lot of these kids have never been in a tornado, I've never been in a tornado, either but we have to emphasize this is the real thing," she said.
Hoodenpyle said she couldn't even fathom what those teachers went through and got tears in her eyes as she thought about how she would react to an extreme disaster.
"I cannot imagine what it would be like to be put in a situation like that one, not knowing if you can locate your child, where your child is and if they okay. As a teacher, you love your children. For them to go through something as horrible as this, knowing that it's mother nature, you can't control it, but just knowing that you need to protect those children. It's just heart breaking," she said.
"I would just be consoling those children, assuring them that it was going to be okay and that we would be located. Their mommy and daddy would be thinking of them and we're going to try to get them reconnected to their mom and dad as quickly as possible."