Roughly 1,500 miles separate the elementary schools in Moore, Oklahoma, and Newtown, Connecticut. Six months separate their tragedies. And while there are marked differences between the devastating violence in these two towns brought so quickly and emotionally to the American spotlight, there is at least one uplifting constant: the courage of teachers who tried everything in their power to save the children. Because that's what teachers do.
"Among the victims were young children trying to take shelter in the safest place they knew: their school," President Obama said during his press conference addressing the Oklahoma tornado Tuesday. As of Tuesday evening, all students at Briarwood Elementary School and AgapeLand Learning Center have been accounted for; police said seven of nine children confirmed to have died in the storm's path went to Plaza Towers Elementary.
Of course the terror at Sandy Hook Elementary is not the same as that of the three schools hit by the tornado. And, yes, the death of such young children is a horrifying connection. But as the recovery efforts continue, know that there are men and women in Oklahoma, not unlike the guardians of Sandy Hook, who were there when America's kids needed them most. These are their stories: