Statement by MEA President Steve Cook on Oklahoma tornado and school employees' heroism

(The Oklahoma Education Association has set up a relief fund to assist teachers, education support professionals and school administrators impacted by the tornado that struck Moore. Click here to donate to the OEA Tornado Relief Fund.)

EAST LANSING, Mich., May 22, 2013 — The following statement can be attributed to MEA President Steven Cook in reaction to Monday’s tragic tornado that struck Moore, Okla.:

“At least 24 people — including nine children — are dead, following the devastating tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., wiping out most of the town. Some of the dead children were students at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which was flattened by the storm.

“In the midst of this tragedy, I want to convey how proud MEA’s 150,000 members are of our colleagues in Oklahoma.

“Reports continue to pour in of school employees in Moore who put themselves in harm’s way to save their students. Some used their bodies as human shields to protect children from falling rubble. Others carried children in their arms and out of collapsing schools.

“Still others lost their lives inside of their schools — a horrible end to what began as a routine day in the classroom.

“From Newtown to Moore, we have been reminded of the courage and selflessness of teachers and education support professionals across our great nation, who routinely go above and beyond the call of duty for the sake of their children and their communities.

“Working in public education is an often thankless job. Today, as we collect our thoughts, hold our loved ones just a little tighter and try to carry on, let’s take a moment to thank our local teachers and support staff — for we know they without hesitation would make the same sacrifices as those heroes in Moore.”


Contact: Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5566