A suburban Oklahoma City public school system has reached an agreement with the families of seven children killed in a tornado, ending three years of litigation.
The May 20, 2013, tornado leveled large portions of Moore, including Plaza Towers Elementary School, and killed 24 people. Another 377 people were injured by the tornado, which was rated at EF5 – the most severe on the National Weather Service scale.
In a statement Monday, Moore Public Schools said the families have agreed to accept $14,000 each to settle the lawsuit arising from the destruction of a Plaza Towers classroom addition where the children were killed. The families had alleged the addition was defectively built.
The deaths prompted a demand for storm shelters and safe rooms in schools. Another school district in Oklahoma approved the purchase of 4,500 skateboard helmets for students and employees to wear in case of a tornado.
The board spent $34,650 on the helmets with funds raised by the Cover Our Kids campaign in Duncan. The campaign was created in response to the May 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla., which killed seven schoolchildren.
The disaster also sparked an Oklahoma company to create a protective blanket that developers say could give children a better chance of surviving debris from a tornado – or bullets from a 9 mm handgun.
The Bodyguard Blanket, made by ProTecht, is a bulletproof pad designed to protect students during disasters at school. The 5/16-inch thick rectangle features backpack-like straps that allow users to put it on, and then duck and cover.
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