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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teacher Photographed Running Barefoot in Storm To Warn Parents To Take Cover from Tornado

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It was a race against time to get elementary school students and their families to safety as a tornado loomed above Celia Hays Elementary School in Rockwell, Texas.

The school was just moments away from dismissal when the sky darkened and a twister appeared overhead.

The school follows tornado safety protocol, and the moment the principal announced that everyone needed to take shelter, a team of teachers raced into action.

One of the staff members who helped was 4th-grade teacher Megan Parson, who is also a fashion blogger, wife and mother.

Parson, 25, removed her suede shoes — so they would not be ruined in the rain — and started running down the sidewalk, knocking on car windows of parents who were waiting to pick up their kids, urging them to get inside.

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As she ran barefoot down the road, Parson soon realized she had forgotten to remove the fake mustache from her face, which she had pasted on during a year-end party that afternoon.

The combination of a barefooted, mustache-wearing woman tearing down the sidewalk and yelling at people made for a pretty comical, though still very serious situation.

Most people were oblivious to the fact that a tornado was approaching, and Parson found herself knocking on window after window to urge passengers inside to take shelter.

“Some people were on their phones or they just weren’t paying attention,” Parson told People. “I started running down the street trying to get every single parent out of their cars.”

As some point, Parson remembered the mustache, tore it off her face, and continued running down the road as her red kimono flapped in the breeze.

“No wonder they made me run all the way to their window before rolling it down,” she later posted on Facebook. “They probably thought I was PSYCHO!”

Her efforts were successful, as the people in each waiting car evacuated to safety.

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“We had grandparents, moms, dads, babies we even had dogs inside the school,” Parson said.

It was not until later that Parson saw a photo that one of the parents had taken which showed her dashing down the sidewalk while the twister appeared in the background.

She said people began comparing her to Superman, as the image perfectly captured a woman wearing a red cape, or in this fashion blogger’s case, a kimono, while racing to save lives.

“I was so focused on just getting those parents to safety. My mind was: every single one of those parents were family members. They needed to get inside,” Parson said.

The photo and video went viral, and it wasn’t long before people were posting about the teacher and making memes.

“Let me tell ya something about a woman who takes all precautions necessary to not only keep her kids safe but their parents too,” Amber Dawn Shirley-Barlow posted on Facebook. “With her permission, I’ve copied her post and these photos to share! Thank you for everything you do!! Can we get #TeacherOfTheYear or what!!!”

Her heroic actions were also noticed by the local firefighters, who seized the opportunity to tease one of their own.

“My husband is actually a firefighter. When he went into work the next day, all of his buddies were joking, ‘At least there’s one hero in your family — it’s your wife.’ I was like, ‘I’m so sorry, babe,'” she said.

Parson was also quick to say that she was not the only teacher outside helping and that she, along with her colleagues, were just doing their jobs.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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