Plaza Towers 7 Mother Asks Tulsans To Support Storm Shelter Petition
TULSA, Oklahoma - A new initiative to put storm shelters in every Oklahoma public school is being pushed by parents who lost their children when an EF-5 tornado hit Plaza Towers Elementary School.
One mother, whose son was killed last May, was in Tulsa Tuesday getting signatures so the initiative can be put on a November ballot.
The Plaza Towers parents need 160,000 Oklahomans to sign the petition. They have less than 90 days to get the signatures and want Tulsans to help.
Christopher was 9 years old when 200 mile an hour winds flattened Plaza Towers Elementary on May 20th last year; he did not survive. Now, his mother, Danni Legg, has made it her mission to get storm shelters in all of Oklahoma's public schools.
"I took it for granted that school is the safest place that a child could ever be,” she said. “I was dead wrong because the day that my son was dropped off he wasn't able to be picked up."
Her two other children made it out of Plaza Towers alive, but Christopher was one of the seven who were killed in the EF-5 tornado.
"We live in the state of Oklahoma. It's not a matter of if there is going to be another tornado in Oklahoma, it's a matter of when and where it is going to hit," Legg said.
She said 61 percent of Oklahoma's public schools do not have shelters, and attorney David Slane isn't comfortable with that percentage.
After a failed attempt to pass a similar law last year, Slane authored a new petition. He and Legg are working across the state to get the 160,000 signatures, and believe taxpayers will pay for shelters.
"Its $500 million, but we feel like if its paid over 25 years we can handle it," Slane said.
They said getting the measure on the 2014 ballot has to be a statewide grassroots effort. That's why Legg quit her job as a Moore public school teacher.
"We work on this day and night, but seven families can't do this alone,” she said. This is up to all Oklahomans. If you have a child it's up to you to help get these signatures."
“160,000 signatures in 90 days is a huge task. It has never been done on a volunteer basis. It's only been done when people pay and our kids have no money," said Slane.
You can learn more about the Take Shelter Oklahoma petition online.