Oklahoma Tornado Causes Concern For Student Safety


TOPEKA -- The monstrous tornado that barreled through Moore, Oklahoma, demolishing an elementary school and killing 7 children, is a nightmare scenario for parents and school officials.

"Yeah, I would think that all schools should be ready no matter what anytime, we get early warnings from TV and radio stations, so I don't see why they can't be prepared," said Topeka parent, Kevin Parker.

"It is something we're constantly talking about and we take it very seriously," said USD 501 Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford.

At Topeka's McEachron Elementary School, the drill is a little different.

"We are not going to go in the hallways, we are going to go in the tunnels," said Principal of McEachron Elementary, Victor Williams.

The school has 2 underground tunnels that run down the south side of the building and the north side of the building with 8 access points: 5 in classrooms, 1 in the library, and 2 in the boiler room.

No one can say if anything would have withstood the strength of what hit the Moore, Oklahoma schools, but local school officials are certain the chaos of parents rushing to look for their children in the midst of such devastation is something they hope they never see firsthand.

"It's probably one of the hardest tragedies that a school district and families has to live through," said USD 437 Superintendent Dr. Brenda Dietrich.

" I wouldn't be able to bare the loss of a life," said Williams.

Superintendent Ford said Topeka school officials spent last week with the F.B.I. and the secret service talking about their future disaster plans.


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