New school year awaits kids who survived twister - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

New school year awaits kids who survived twister

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki). In this Monday, May 20, 2013 photo, Cameron Richardson, center, is carried out of the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki). In this Monday, May 20, 2013 photo, Cameron Richardson, center, is carried out of the rubble of Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore, Okla.

By SEAN MURPHY
Associated Press

MOORE, Okla. (AP) - Nearly three months after a twister blasted through this Oklahoma City suburb and destroyed two elementary schools, officials and many families hope Friday's start of a new school year will help students put the memory of the deadly tornado behind them.

Though many families are ready to return to a familiar routine, parents and teachers say the town's children have fears that are still fresh and a lot more healing to do.

Seven students at the Plaza Towers Elementary School were among the 24 people killed by the EF-5 twister that wrecked scores of homes and businesses along a 17-mile path through the heart of Moore on May 20. Students at Plaza Towers and nearby Briarwood Elementary, which also was destroyed, will attend classes in temporary buildings at least for this school year.

"I'm a little nervous about the beginning of school because I want the kids so badly to feel good and comfortable at school," said Plaza Towers Principal Amy Simpson, who took cover from the storm in a 4-by-5-foot bathroom with her office staff and emerged to find a mangled car on a co-worker's desk.

Since the storm, different students have found different ways to cope with their memories of the mayhem. Haley Delgado, 8, carries headphones to block out the noise of the wind and her brother, Xavier, 10, says he is scared by loud thunder.

Ruby Macias, 9, who was trapped under the same wall that crushed her classmates, remembers the screaming and the crying.

"She says she dreams about her friend," said Ruby's mother, Veronica Macias. "I don't know what to tell her."

The site where the Plaza Towers school once stood, in the heart of a neighborhood decimated by the tornado, has become a makeshift memorial for the dead and a meeting spot for volunteers, even though there is just a slab where the school used to be.

A handful of wind-battered trees are beginning to grow new leaves and branches again. Seven crosses, each carrying the name of a child killed in the storm, are accompanied by an eighth that has a black "7'' inside a red heart.

"I'm not going to act as though those first couple of weeks (after the storm) weren't so terribly difficult, because they were," said Superintendent Robert Romines, a longtime Moore resident who took the district's top post over the summer. "But since that day, we have turned a lot of corners. After our last funeral, we turned a corner."

The district will build new schools at the sites of the old ones; the new ones will have tornado-safe rooms.

___

Follow Sean Murphy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • US issues steep list of demands for nuclear treaty with Iran

    US issues steep list of demands for nuclear treaty with Iran

    Monday, May 21 2018 8:52 AM EDT2018-05-21 12:52:00 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 10:25 AM EDT2018-05-21 14:25:50 GMT
    fasfdafasfda

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is laying out the Trump administration's strategy for constraining Iran's nuclear program and opposing its other behavior in the region following President Donald Trump's withdrawal...

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is laying out the Trump administration's strategy for constraining Iran's nuclear program and opposing its other behavior in the region following President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

  • Trump to DOJ: Investigate whether FBI infiltrated campaign

    Trump to DOJ: Investigate whether FBI infiltrated campaign

    Monday, May 21 2018 12:51 AM EDT2018-05-21 04:51:49 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 10:24 AM EDT2018-05-21 14:24:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will "demand" that the Justice Department open ...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will "demand" that the Justice Department open ...

    Trump's demand puts further pressure on the Justice Department, which later Sunday asked its watchdog to expand an existing probe of FBI actions, as the White House combats the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.

    Trump's demand puts further pressure on the Justice Department, which later Sunday asked its watchdog to expand an existing probe of FBI actions, as the White House combats the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.

  • School victims honored at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

    School victims honored at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

    Sunday, May 20 2018 10:51 AM EDT2018-05-20 14:51:24 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 10:24 AM EDT2018-05-21 14:24:42 GMT
    (AP Photos/Invision, File). FILE - In a May 7, 2018, file photo, Ariana Grande, left, attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibitio...(AP Photos/Invision, File). FILE - In a May 7, 2018, file photo, Ariana Grande, left, attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibitio...
    After celebrating her 52nd birthday and the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking "janet.".
    After celebrating her 52nd birthday and the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking "janet.".
Powered by Frankly