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NEA Mourns for Oklahoma families in wake of tragedy

WASHINGTON - May 21, 2013 -

A massive tornado ripped through central Oklahoma yesterday, heavily damaging Briarwood Elementary School, leveling Plaza Towers Elementary School and killing at least 24 people, including children.

“There are no words to convey our sorrow over the tragic loss that has been suffered by Oklahoma’s families,” said National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel. “Our hearts are broken over the students and educators killed in the storm and we commend the educators who put their lives on the line to protect the children in these schools—every single one is a hero who will not be forgotten. We will stand with the families of those lost and injured and the communities suffering as they work to rebuild their homes and their lives.”

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the members of Oklahoma Education Association, who have lost students, friends, and colleagues. The more than 3 million members of the NEA family stand ready to help OEA and the Moore, Okla., community however we can in the days and weeks ahead,” said Van Roekel.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,