Moore Students Return To School Nearly 3 Months After Deadly Tornado

Friday, August 16th 2013, 9:23 am
By: News 9

Students are going back to school Friday, nearly three months after the deadly EF-5 Tornado destroyed Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary Schools.

The school district says it will rebuild both schools. Until then, students will be put up in temporary classrooms.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

Students who lost classmates in the tornado have returned to school, eager to reunite with friends but worried about the next storm.

The Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary schools were destroyed when an EF5 twister hit Moore on May 20. Two dozen people died, including seven students at the Plaza Towers school.

Parents walked many of their children to classes at a temporary location Friday and cried as they walked away. One parent, Julie Lewis, said her son Zack wanted to know who would pick him up from school the next time the weather turns bad.

Cameron Richardson, a new fourth-grader, had trouble sleeping because a storm swept through the area overnight. He carries an Associated Press photo of his rescue on his cell phone.

Earlier this week, News 9 talked to Moore's new superintendent about how the school district will help students move forward, especially on a day that started out with storms.

"Something as simple as having someone when those storms roll through. As they do in Oklahoma. We are going to see more apprehensive behaviors. And we want people on the staff that can walk people through that," said Dr. Robert Romines, Moore Superintendent.

Dr. Romines says his team is using Joplin schools as an example. They went through the same thing a few years ago.

The focus this morning is on the students. Despite all of the media around the school Friday morning, principals and teachers want things to as normal as possible for the students.

We caught up with Amy Simpson, Plaza Towers Principal, who says it'll be good for everyone to be back in the classroom.

"They are going to see the familiar faces and be able to embrace their friends and go around and try to find each other's desk," said Simpson. "There is a feeling in the air, can we get it all accomplished? And I know we will."