The Norman Transcript

News Features

May 27, 2013

Moore survivors stand strong



When Mayes saw what was coming for them after watching a live feed on another teacher’s iPad, she said she told the children they were going to play a game, lined their desks together to form a tunnel and grabbed musical instruments.

As the storm could be heard ravaging the building, Mayes said she sang louder and louder as children cried and screamed. After a while, everything turned black and then it stopped.

Mayes began to call out the children’s names one by one, and one by one, they all answered. She then told them a real live hero was coming and the crowd laughed as she said one of the kids asked, “You mean KD (Kevin Durant)?”

“I said, ‘Well, maybe not KD. Maybe a fireman or policeman.’ And I said, ‘But maybe we’ll get to see KD out of it,’” Mayes said.

Then she told the children when the hero comes, they had to use their musical instruments so they could hear them to get out.

“I just kept telling them how proud I was of them because they had listened and they had followed directions and we were here. And then someone said, ‘Hello,’ and they started banging the desks and calling, ‘We’re here, we’re here,’ in the loudest voices you have ever heard,” she said.

Mayes said a man was able to move some of the debris and create a hole big enough for them to get out. When they were all out, Mayes saw the parents and people from the community who had rushed to the school to help them.

“We’re so glad to see all of them,” she said.

“Our strength does not come from our possessions, but our strength is the kind of strength that matters. It’s the strength of the spirit of Oklahoma that is alive and well in our state,” Fallin said in closing remarks.

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