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Teacher Proud of Students Who Sat Through Two Hour Ordeal

Alison Lynch, Teacher
April 4, 2012
Filed under Opinion

We live in Texas, smack dab in the middle of the area known as Tornado Alley.  Over 100 tornadoes are confirmed in Texas every year so when we hear that bad weather is coming, we are usually mindful but not overly panicked.  I have been at SGP for six years and even though we occasionally practice the tornado drill alongside the fire drill and the shelter in place drill, I have never actually experienced the events that occurred yesterday.  In elementary school we are taught that if the tornado sirens go off you put your head between your knees and cover it with your arms while facing the interior wall of a ground floor room.  That’s a swell idea in theory but we’re a 5A high school with 2,800 students and an abundance of exterior rooms. 

When Principal Donna Grant came on the intercom and told everyone to get downstairs, there was a bit of confusion and chaos and many teachers were separated from their students as students were separated from each other.  We quickly got everyone to a safe place and then the waiting began.  There was no panic and very few incidents of misbehavior.  I attribute this to Ms. Grant and the administrative team making swift decisions and working as a cohesive unit with the rest of the faculty to keep everyone safe.  Were we uncomfortable sitting on the floor for two hours? Of course, but things could have been so much worse; a little discomfort is a healthy reminder of how lucky we were.

As I monitored the behavior walking up and down the halls and in and out of classrooms I saw everything from sleeping and listening to music to *gasp* studying.  Overall, I think students were respectful of each other’s space and belongings even if they were forced to shove desks aside or turn them upside down to make room for each other.  When the all-clear was sounded and the halls were cleared, SGP was thankfully unharmed.  There was no more trash in the halls than there is on a typical pep rally day, and there was a large stack of referrals in the discipline office that did not get written.

 In short, there is a plethora of ways that the tornado emergency could have gone seriously wrong.  But due to the diligence of the faculty, led by the administrators, and the overall maturity of our students as to how to act in a crisis, nothing bad actually happened.  I am always proud to be a Warrior and yesterday demonstrated in a big way, the quality of individuals we have here and just what it means to be Warrior Tough.