KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Tomorrow the teachers at North Central High School will welcome students back to school at the vocational center, but today the teachers got one last chance to walk inside the building and take a look inside their classrooms. Many of which had their ceilings torn out, lights hanging by threads and posters and books drenched in water. The teachers attempted to salvage what they could and say goodbye.
Lana Broughton, a 12th grade English teacher, waded into her classroom. She said she was ankle-deep in water and mud with an overwhelming mission to save as much of her classroom as possible.
“I broke down in tears and the deputy sheriff just hugged me and grabbed a box and said what do you need? I will help you,” Broughton said.
Each teacher had 30 minutes and two boxes.
They were split into groups based on how severely their classrooms were damaged. Crews were working throughout the day today to make sure it was safe.
“We are just trying to grab what we can at that point,” Broughton said.
For Broughton, it meant putting 14 year’s worth of teaching momentos, all soaked with water, into a few boxes.
“I took sentimental things like my teacher of the year poster. It doesn’t mean much but still, I wanted that,” Broughton said.
She said she was thankful to be able to save anything, but it didn’t make seeing her classroom first hand any easier.
“I mean just to look around the room and see everything that you do to make this classroom a home for the kids and there is nothing on the walls,” Broughton said.
Broughton’s classroom was one of the hardest hit, but she said getting to see it, even for a few minutes, gave her and many other teachers the closure they needed.
“I think we all walked out of that building just now it was a weight lifted off of us because we got that closure, we got our stuff and we got what we could. Even this does not compare to walking through that building,” Broughton said.
Now with a few of her books, posters, and her class’s first place field day trophy, she’s ready to open up her new classroom tomorrow.
“Tomorrow is not about educating,” Broughton said. “Tomorrow is going to be about loving and adjusting together.”