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Safe rooms in grade schools
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Letter To The Editor,
I am writing about the Great Bend USD 428 grade schools not having safe rooms, for protecting students and staff from severe weather. The Great Bend Middle School does have a safe room. I called the middle school and they informed me their safe room started being used in the Spring, 2014. I have been at the middle school when they have had a tornado drill and all the over 550 students and staff were able to move into the safe room without any trouble. What a safe feeling it was even during a drill to know the students and staff were safe from severe weather inside the safe room.
I am amazed that parents in Great Bend who have middle age students and also grade school children have not asked “Why aren’t safe rooms being built at all the grade schools?” I have not seen anything in the newspaper or on the radio from parents of grade school children asking this question..
I visited with Joyce Carte, a member of the USD 428 school board, about safe rooms at all the grade schools. She and I talked about the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area several years ago where several grade school children were killed because they were sitting properly in the halls when the severe weather approached. How sad for the parents of those children, when a safe room in the school probably could have saved their lives.
I would think the parent organizations at the grade schools might do some thinking about asking the USD 428 school board to dialog about safe rooms. Maybe this letter will start grade school parents thinking why the Great Bend grade schools do not have safe rooms. I am sure the middle school administration would be happy to show off the safe room at the middle school to parents when school is not in session. It is such a great addition to the middle school and helps the middle school students and staff fell protected in event of severe weather.
Don Learned
Retired Great Bend Principal
Great Bend