Moore Parents Express Concern Over Need For School Storm Shelters

Thursday, March 26th 2015, 11:23 pm
By: News 9

There were no classes Thursday, because of the tornado damage. At Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School the devastation was plenty. But no students or teachers were in class at the time of the storm.

Now in Moore, many parents are asking themselves one question. What if?

As one of the hardest hit structures in this recent storm, Southgate Elementary quickly becomes the next example for school storm shelters.

3/26/15 Related Story: Moore Educators Band Together To Help Cleanup At Southgate Elementary

"Lucky the kids were out but what if they were here?" said Richard Chabiel whose son is a 5th grader at Southgate Elementary.

"That was the main thing that really freaked me out," said Misty Conner, one of her sons is a 3rd grader at Southgate.

As dozens of Moore residents try to pick up the pieces of their homes, parents and students of Southgate elementary try to gather their thoughts on the very real possibilities of that storm.

"The reality of the school getting hit and my kids go to that school so it was way too close to home. The kids in Plaza Towers, it was just too much, just too much," said Conner.

But those possibilities were a reality for Danni Legg.

"Cuts to my soul because this is happening again," said Danni Legg, who continues to advocate for school storm shelters.

Danni lost her nine-year-old son, Christopher, in Plaza Towers Elementary on May 20th 2013.

Since that day when an EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, she's been a strong advocate for putting shelters in schools.

"Yes, we are Moore Strong and we are Moore Resilient, but the problem is we must learn from our history. Moore is going to get hit," said Legg.

And not just in Moore, but Legg wants to see them across the state.

In the last legislative session, two proposals focused on school shelters. One was never heard in committee. The other passed the house but didn't receive enough votes in senate.

But even though Southgate's damage is minor compared to the past, Danni and other parents feel it's all the reason to act.

”We've got to do better. As a state and as a whole,” said Legg.

"It's going to happen again we need something done it's is it going to take more lives before you do something about it?" said Chabiel.

All Moore schools will be in session Friday except Southgate, which will be resume classes Monday at a nearby church.