Yale Teachers Walk Into Rain-Soaked Classrooms
Yale, OKLAHOMA - Just days before classes start, some schools look like a washout in one Green Country district. Teachers in Yale are taking a break from setting up their classrooms to mop them up as they race to be ready for the start of school.
Teachers at Yale said from time to time they have to grab a bucket to catch water leaking from the ceiling, but they said nothing like this has ever happened.
Fortunately, though, the poor-timed fiasco didn't dampen the teachers' spirits. They just went to work cleaning it up.
It's not the way Yale High School teacher, Kim Eason planned her day, vacuuming and fanning out a classroom full water.
“We don't want mold and we don't want all of that, so we've really been working to clean it up,” she said.
When the high school English teacher walked into class Friday morning, she found soaked ceiling tiles and rain pouring in from gaping holes.
“I thought, ‘Oh no!' I just ran and I just started unplugging things,” Eason said.
Fortunately, she had just moved her brand-new touchscreen TV, an award from a technology grant, otherwise it would have been washed out like her desk and computer.
About a block up the road, rain rushed into the elementary school, too.
The rain ruined some of the hard work Shelli Martin put in over the past few weeks. Her classroom was ready for her new group of first graders until water flooded in.
Her books took the hardest hit, many of which belonged to Martin personally.
“We keep turning the pages to try to keep them from sticking together,” Martin said. “I'm hoping I can salvage them. I mean, I'm not above trying to dry them out.”
Superintendent Dale Bledsoe said the district has enough money to make ends meet, but not enough to fix the leaky roof.
“You're just trying to maintain, pay your salaries and educate your children the best way you possibly can, it's just been tough to put money into your building,” Bledsoe said.
He's hoping voters will get the chance to approve a bond next year, and teachers are just anxious for school to start.
“We're ready for kids, may not look like it, but we're ready for kids,” Martin laughed.
The carpets should be dry and the classrooms will be all cleaned up by Wednesday when school starts. The superintendent said not to worry, though, it will be a safe and healthy environment for the students.
UPDATE: Since our story aired on Friday night, Rob Wickersham of SERVPRO in Tulsa offered cleanup and restoration services at no charge for Eason's room and the elementary school. Wickersham told the teachers his wife saw the story on the news and brought it to his attention.