Too often, local governments resist spending money to adequately fund their future leaders, leaving teachers to try to compensate for their stinginess.
You see it in Baltimore’s public school system, where school capacities practically have to double, and parents rant and rave, before local governments fund new, larger school buildings that adequately accommodate bulging student populations. In the meantime, teachers soldier on in sub-par conditions.
A perfect, terrible example of this type of faultiness was displayed this past Monday, as a tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. Inadequately prepared elementary schools stood directly in its path.
At the town’s Plaza Towers Elementary School, seven students were killed. The aging school building, erected in 1966, lacked a tornado shelter—despite the area’s history of tornadoes. The town’s Mayor, Glenn Lewis, reportedly told a CNN reporter on Tuesday morning that few of Oklahoma’s schools possess built-in storm shelters, in part because of the cost. Not having such a shelter proved enormously costly on Monday.
At Moore’s Briarwood Elementary, second grade teacher Cindy Lowe literally lay on top of as many of her students as she could to shield them from the crumbling ceiling, the teacher told ABC News. Another second-grade teacher at the school, Annette Brown, held the hand of her son, a student at the school, as the ceiling collapsed around them, even as she lost feeling in her arms, according to NewsOK.com. Brown told reporters that during the storm she focused on keeping her students calm.
These teachers, as is so often the case, acted bravely and went beyond the call of duty. Unfortunately, the same cannot be same for the folks who decided against installing a storm shelter at the schools to protect their town’s future leaders.
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