Wednesday’s storms did not turn out to be as widespread as expected, exposing school districts that preemptively closed to the criticism they overreacted. A teacher defends the decision by districts to close early. (Robert MacDonald via AP)

Teacher: We don’t want to die with your kids in a tornado

Some school districts in Georgia chose to close Wednesday or release students early because of threats of tornadoes and violent weather. In some areas of the state, however, the storms never showed up, and districts faced complaints they closed for no reason.

A Ware County High School teacher takes on those criticisms in an AJC Get Schooled blog post today that is going viral. Within hours of the piece being posted on AJC social media, it was shared a thousand times.

Rachel Williams Grimes writes that teachers are called upon to protect their children and put them first, even if it means risking their own safety.

“I have hidden my autistic elementary school students in a bathroom while an angry man with a weapon roamed the campus. I have had a rib broken and rotator cuff torn by a student,” writes Grimes. “I have been threatened by an angry, belt-wielding parent as I stepped between her and her child. I have dashed out of a prom carrying burning decorations. I have been brave for your kids.Right now, though, I’m not being brave. I’m at home eating pimento cheese on Ritz crackers in my blue polka-dotted pajamas. School was called off early today because there was a chance of tornadic activity. So far, a drop of rain has not fallen, and our school system was ridiculed by a meteorologist on TV in the next major town.”

She notes, “That meteorologist has never been in a classroom. Taught 115 kids for 180 days…That weatherman has never been knee-deep in children. I have been. I am.”

To read Grimes’ piece and find out why it is resonating with so many educators, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.

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