Susan Jordan, a principal at an Indiana elementary school, is being hailed a hero after sacrificing her life to save a group of children from a runaway school bus.
According to CNN, Jordan, who served as the principal at Amy Beverland Elementary School in Indianapolis for over 20 years, was supervising dismissal when she jumped in front of a bus that was carrying 25 students after it lurched forward towards another group of students at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26.
Rita Reith with the Indianapolis Fire Department said the bus driver said she didn’t know what caused the bus to lurch forward and jump the curb, and she witnessed Jordan pushing several children out of harm’s way before the bus struck her. Reith said that “they just loved her. Up to the minute she was alive, she was helping the kids.”
Karen & I stopped by Amy Beverland Elementary. Please keep the students, faculty & entire community in your prayers pic.twitter.com/HVB7e9HFvm
— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) January 27, 2016
Following the tragic incident, the school board released a statement recalling Jordan’s work throughout the years, and how many lives she touched as an educator.
“Susan was an amazing educator,” the statement read. “She had a remarkable way of making everyone she came in contact with feel valued and important. She had a passion for children that is unmatched. The entire Lawrence Township Community mourns her loss and extends our sympathy to the Amy Beverland Community the multitudes of people whose lives she touched.”
Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent Shawn Smith issued a separate statement regarding Jordan’s death, according to the Washington Post. He described her as an individual that truly cared about children, and would be missed by all in the community.
Classes in the MSD of Lawrence Township will NOT be in session on Wednesday, January 27th as we mourn the loss of our beloved Susan Jordan.
— AmyBeverland Com (@amybeverlandcom) January 26, 2016
“This is a great example of an educational leader in our state and our city… Just a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children. This is a tragic situation that we have,” Smith said. “This loss is going to ripple across our district of 15,000 students.”
Indianapolis Police Commander Chris Bailey told the Associated Press that the bus driver would be given a blood test, which is standard procedure when fatal collisions occur. The students Jordan saved, both 10-years-old, were taken to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries, and are expected to make a full recovery. The bus driver and the students on the bus were examined by paramedics, but did not suffer any injuries.
Remembering Susan Jordan: “She was one in a million.” pic.twitter.com/HRxCvGLsK7
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) January 27, 2016
On Wednesday, the police department said their initial investigation found no mechanical problems on the bus, and the driver did not appear to be impaired. Indianapolis Police Sgt. Kendale Adams said the investigation is ongoing, and at the moment they are “going off the premise this was a tragic and unfortunate accident.”
Classes at all of the schools in the Lawrence Township district were cancelled on Wednesday, January 27. However, four locations, including a transportation center, were “open for emotional support to our staff and families.”
It appears as though there wasn’t a single person in the school district whose life wasn’t touched in some way by Susan Jordan. In May, her sixth grade students created a heartwarming appreciation video for Jordan, who they referred to as “Mrs. J.” The touching video, which is set to the tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” shows the students describing what a wonderful person, and educator, Jordan was. At the end of the video, the credits read “We love you Mrs. Jordan! Amy Beverland really is the sunshine after the rainbow.”
According to a post on the Amy Beverland Elementary School’s Facebook page, a brief prayer vigil for the Amy Beverland Community will be held on Wednesday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m. at the main entrance of the elementary school.
[Photo by Onnes/Shutterstock.com]