Last night we learned about one of the more tragic aftermaths of the tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, yesterday. The Plaza Towers Elementary School was hit directly by the tornado, causing the deaths of at least seven students and injuring some of the dozens of kindergartners through third-graders who remained sheltered in the school.
From this tragedy, a hero emerges.
Rhonda Crosswhite, a sixth-grade teacher at the school, saved the six students by shielding them with her own body as the tornado passed overhead. The small group were seeking refuge in one of the school’s bathroom when they knew the storm was about to hit. In one of the bathroom’s stalls, the teacher draped her body over the students in an attempt to keep them safe. There, she tried and keep them calm and prayed for their safety.
The Today show interviewed one of these survivors, who said that Crosswhite threw her body on top of him and the other students. “She saved our lives,” he said.
Later Today caught up with Crosswhite to get her side of the story. Watch the interview here as well as the heartwarming reunion between her and one of the students she saved.
Here are some tweets from earlier today of people expressing gratitude and celebrating Crosswhite’s incredible heroism in the face of danger:
Our hearts go out to our WHS Class of 1985 graduate, Rhonda Melton Crosswhite.You may have heard about her…. fb.me/1q7foAYXY
— Weatherford ISD (@weatherfordisd) May 21, 2013
Please keep the families of Moore Oklahoma in your prayers and God bless Ms. Crosswhite for protecting 6 children by in her school.
— karen morrison (@1796Karen) May 21, 2013
To be a teacher is already to be a hero, but during Monday’s monstrous tornado in the suburbs of Oklahoma City, Rhonda Crosswhite put her..
— Just2simple (@just2simple) May 21, 2013