We were supposed to have our Family Literacy Night tonight at school. However, Mother Nature being the cantankerous sort that she is, the district decided to cancel all after school-activities so we could get all the kids home before the severe weather hit us later this afternoon and evening. Interestingly enough, we were the only county in the area that didn't send our kids home early, but that could be because we send them home early as it is - our school day ends at 2:05.
Because it was kind of nice having a bit of time without a parent meeting, a staff meeting, or a tutoring class, I volunteered to be part of the skeleton staff that stuck around just in case one of the buses had to turn back due to weather. I'm a junkie about weather anyway (Dad worked meteorology for the airlines when I was little) and it's my favorite unit to teach. So, I worked on lessons for next week, watched The Weather Channel, and scooted out at 3:15. The storms seemed to have sidestepped us for the most part, leaving the really bad stuff for areas further south.
I'll be honest and say that I teared up when I heard the news about the High School in Enterprise, Alabama getting hit by a tornado. Although we train for it, practice our drills and emergency procedures, and read through our handbook, the reality is none of us ever really wants to be at school when something like a tornado hits. The idea of a kid getting seriously hurt, or killed, on my watch just leaves me with an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I feel responsible for these children, and even though I have no control over the weather, I still would feel somewhat responsible if something happened. We have had tornadoes here before, and we will again. It's just a matter of time.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the students, faculty, and staff of Enterprise High School. Hopefully this horrific event will bring out the best in people, and not the worst.