Bethany Middle School Teacher Fights for Life after Fall

Wednesday, November 18th 2009, 5:05 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

BETHANY, Oklahoma -- A small metro community is rallying around one of their own after a Bethany middle school teacher received a severe head injury when he fell off his roof this past weekend.

According to a blog created by the family, John Griffis is in a medically induced coma and doctors have done all they can at this point, but the family is hoping for the best and they're getting plenty of support from the Bethany School District.

It's been a somber three days at Bethany Middle School. Well wishes and "get well" signs cover Griffis' sixth-grade math classroom. His students are still trying to come to grips with the accident.

Griffis was critically injured while roofing his home, something he does as a second job during the summer. The long-time Bethany teacher has four children. Their friends rushed to the family's side shortly after the accident.

"Hannah, his daughter, told me about it so I didn't really know what to think, didn't know how serious it was, I was just like, 'I will pray for him' but I didn't understand until I got back and went to the hospital and I've been there multiple times since then," Callee Cox said.

Griffis has been a part of the school district since his days as a student. He even left a law practice to become a teacher at Bethany. He wears more hats than just teaching.

"He is our golf coach," said Bethany Public Schools Superintendent Kent Shellenberger. "He does numerous coaching responsibilities, girl's softball, he's done basketball,"

It's clear from the hand written notes, Griffis is missed. And colleagues knew they could always count on him.

"He's just always there," said Shellenberger. "John doesn't miss much. He has always been a steady force, a steady rock."

The Griffis family did not want to go on camera, but they asked that everyone keep them in their thoughts and prayers.