Scenes I will never forget

A teacher leads students in a dance the morning after the students were forced to stay in the school overnight on Jan. 29, 2014. (File)

A teacher leads students in a dance the morning after the students were forced to stay in the school overnight on Jan. 29, 2014. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

For the rest of my life, I will always remember Jan. 28, 2014.
The weather forecast called for a “light dusting” of snow in Shelby County, as the majority of the severe winter weather threat was supposed to be south of us. After getting to our office in Columbiana, I walked across the street to the Shelby County Courthouse to cover a court hearing. Because the courtroom was near the center of the building, there were no windows to showcase what was transpiring outside.
I was, therefore, confused when the judge decided to postpone the hearing. But when walked outside, I knew why.
The world was covered with snow, and the roads were quickly becoming icy and dangerous.
The ensuing drive to the school at which my wife works was a harrowing ordeal. Had I known how bad the roads were, I probably would not have attempted it, but I somehow arrived safely.
When I arrived at the school, it was becoming clear many of the students would not be going home for the night, as many of their parents were also stranded away from home.
This could have quickly turned into a traumatic event for the young students at the school, but just like the day itself, I will never forget the scenes I saw while walking the hallways to my wife’s classroom.
Teachers were calmly engaging the students in activities to keep the kids’ minds off being away from their families.
As we found out later, these scenes were common at schools throughout Shelby County. Teachers thought nothing of putting the kids’ needs before their own and doing whatever they had to do to turn a potentially traumatic event into a controlled – and maybe even fun – experience.
Like so many Shelby County parents, I will forever have a new level of respect for those who educate our youth.