School counselor reads to kids over intercom during tornado warnings


A follow up from a photo we shared during yesterdays tornado warnings.

A school counselor who read to kids over the intercom during the storm has gained a lot of social media attention.

School counselor Beth Samelak told me she’s shocked this went viral on Facebook.

Seeing some of her students terrified during the storms she says she knew she had to do something.

As tornado sirens sounded overhead, schools across the tri-state took cover during the storm including Dexter Elementary.

“Everybody goes to their assigned spots in the hallway and their supposed to crotch down like kneel and cover their head and their neck,” says  Samelak.

“Our students were prepared. We practice our drills monthly so they were ready to go and knew what to do when we made our tornado warning, ” says Travis Howard , dexter principal of Dexter Elementary.

Students under the guidance of their teachers– took shelter away from all windows and doors.

“I really felt for them they couldn’t really move around. They couldn’t really talk all that much and it was for an extended period of time. It was just such a break from their routine that I’m sure it was really hard for some of them to handle.”

Giving administrators the idea to find something to distract students and keep them in place until the storm passed.

“A couple of teachers had said to me hey why don’t you go read a story these kids are bored. So i ran in here grabbed a couple books and headed for the intercom.”

Samelak read multiple books and kept students from worrying about the weather.

“I know there were quite a few kids that were upset because they were scared of the storm and it just distracted them for a little while,” Samelak shared.

Samelak’s quick thinking instantly gained attention on social media–something she didn’t think would happen. 

“Part of the reason I think it’s so weird is because tons of schools did this yesterday you know I’m not the only one everybody else happened to do it too I just happened to have it posted on Facebook,” says Samelak, 

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(This story was originally published on March 15, 2019)

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