We Need A Parade For The Teacher Who Lay On Top Of Students During Oklahoma Tornado

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teacher oklahoma tornadoIn the mommy blogosphere, where the word “brave” is casually thrown around to describe a woman in a postpartum bikini, the term is consistently cheapened. So much so that when I whip it out to describe sixth grade teacher Rhonda Crosswhite, I grapple with others like “hero,” “superhuman,” and straight up Superwoman.

Ms. Crosswhite was interviewed on “Today” about how she literally used her mere mortal body to protect several students from the 200 MPH tornado that has already claimed 24 lives and injured hundreds:

“I was in a [bathroom] stall with some kids and it just started coming down, so I laid on top of them,” the sixth-grade teacher at Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Okla., told Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday’s Today show. “One of my little boys just kept saying, ‘I love you, I love you, please don’t die with me.’ But we’re okay. We made it out.”

All of the students under Ms. Crosswhite survived with only one sustaining a cut to the head. She adds that she never believed that the twister would take her life or that of her students, despite that she could feel the strength of tornado on her back as if someone was “beating” her:

“I never thought I was going to die,” she said. “The whole time I just kept screaming to them, ‘Quit worrying, we’re fine, we’re fine.’ And I’m very loud, so I just hoped they could hear me, because I could hear them screaming. One girl, she’s in my homeroom, was sobbing, and I was like, ‘We’re going to be fine, we’re going to be fine, I’m protecting you.’ And then I said a few prayers. ‘God please take care of my kids.’ And we’re fine.”

And to complete the entire tearjerker moment, “Today” reunited Ms. Crosswhite — live on the air — with one of the kids she saved. Sobs all around. Somebody should at the very least get this teacher a cape. But I suggest a full on parade with streamers and Superwoman banners. Eve Vawter and I will make pies.

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