Teachers, students return to tornado-ravaged school

MOORE, Okla. - After two days of being away from their homes, authorities allowed residents back into their neighborhoods in some of the hardest hit areas, including around Briarwood Elementary.

Teachers were also allowed to collect items from their classrooms, as long as the items were in a safe and accessible area of the collapsed building.

Robin Dziedric and other teachers grabbed binders and backpacks that belonged to their students.

"I know some of my students lost their homes, so if it makes them feel better to get the backpack or binder, I'm glad I could get it for them," said Dziedric.

Dziedric also found school photos she took with her classes in recent years.

"I'm really glad I could get that," she said.

Teachers weren't the only ones visiting the school before the property was fenced off.

PHOTOS: Remembering the victims (http://bit.ly/10TN0gg)

Students also visited, along with their parents.

Mary Young and her mother, Wauneen Young, stood in front of the crumbled building alongside Mary's three children, each of whom attended Briarwood.

Mary credits teachers and administrators for saving her children's lives.

"The administrators, staff. I'm telling you, it's wonderful. They did a very wonderful job," said Mary Young.

Wauneen Young visited Briarwood on Monday to pickup her grandkids as school was about to end for the day.

That's when she says school officials told her about the approaching storm.

"They said you better get in because it's near us," she recalled.

Even though parents and others have praised teachers for their actions this week, teachers like Dziedric remain humble.

"We did not do anything extraordinary," said Dzeidric. "We were just trying to take care of the kids we're in charge of and trying to hang on for dear life. I don't think anyone thought it would turn out the way it did. We're just so lucky to be alive."

Dzeidric says teachers from Briarwood plan to reunite with their students Thursday morning to mark the end of the school year.

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