Profile in Courage: The Teacher

Rhonda Crosswhite risked her life to protect her students from the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma.


On May 20, as an atomic bomb–force tornado hit Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, at about 3 p.m., teachers scrambled to protect their charges. They herded some kids into bathrooms in the building’s interior, where sixth-grade teacher Rhonda Crosswhite, 44, ran into a stall and lay on top of six students—two under her arms, two under her torso, and two under her feet—to shield them.

“One kid was crying, ‘I don’t wanna die,’ and I yelled, ‘We’re going to be fine.’ ” A cinder block landed on her back, and glass was embedded in her skin, but Crosswhite and the students were able to walk away from the ruins of the school (seven students died at Plaza Towers that day).

Rhonda CrosswhiteMike McGregor

Afterward, the teacher (a mother of three) and her colleagues were called heroes, a label Crosswhite rejects, saying, “Every morning at nine, those children become my children. I was just taking care of my kids.”

What Makes People Brave? »
Profile in Courage: The Firefighters »
Profile in Courage: The Marine »
Profile in Courage: The Teacher »
Profile in Courage: The Citizen »

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.