The Norman Transcript

Education

June 11, 2013

School addresses tornado aftermath

MOORE — As the city of Moore moves ahead with recovery and cleanup, the Moore Public Schools Board of Education made its own small return to normalcy with the first regular meeting since the May 20 tornado.

The board had two emergency meetings and a special meeting each week following the tornado that claimed the lives of seven MPS students at Plaza Towers Elementary and destroyed multiple facilities and vehicles across the district.

“I have a very long list of people to thank that I cannot say here, but we hope to have an official thank-you/recognition event for the many volunteers that have helped us in the last two to three weeks to get business back to normal,” Superintendent Susan Pierce said. “I didn’t want to let the evening pass without mentioning this.”

The board had several routine items pertaining to personnel issues, but the meeting was dominated by information and action items pertaining to tornado aftermath.

An impassioned public comment by the grandmother of a Broadmoore Elementary student decried the Broadmoore staff and district administrators for allegedly locking parents out of the school when they arrived to collect their children during the May 20 tornado.

“I can’t, for the life of me, understand why you would deny parents access to that school and to their children. My granddaughter and son-in-law live four blocks from the school and have a cellar. You cannot make me believe she was safer above ground in the school building than in her parents’ cellar with her daddy to comfort her,” the grandmother said. “You made it less safe for the children and their parents in this case ... I hope you write a policy to make sure this never happens again.”

Board members and Pierce declined to comment.

Assistant Superintendents Robert Romines and Jeff Horn gave detailed updates on the damaged schools’ cleanup and recovery efforts, with Horn addressing specific concerns related to reconstruction and insurance.

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