Hopkins Co. School students back in class for first time since tornado

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HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) Students across the Tri-State start returning to school after Christmas break. Among them are those in Hopkins County, one of the hardest hit places in the Tri-State by last month’s tornado.

Today was the first day in more than three weeks that Hopkins County Students returned to classrooms at places like South Hopkins Middle School. As they returned to the classroom, the county continues to try to return to normal.

Pens and pencils in their hands, while still grappling with last month’s tornado on their minds.

“I had a family member whose house got destroyed,” said Jude Mitchell, an 8tth grader at South Hopkins. He knew classmates and relatives who lost homes in the tornado. Mitchell says it felt much quieter today compared to past returns from Christmas break, and the mood changed after the night of December 10th.

“When we were about to leave, we were like super excited. It’s Christmas. But then, we got hit by the tornado. It just changed everyone’s Christmas,” he said.

South Hopkins Middle School educators say while having students back helps, they’re also working to ensure students and teachers who were displaced by the tornado reclaim things they lost in the tornado.

“We continue to follow up weekly with families that were directly involved as their needs change, day to day, week to week, and it will be months to come that they still need things from us,” says Kristin Mackey, the Youth Services Center Coordinator at South Hopkins.

Counselors can also talk with students and others about their emotional needs.

“Academics will be up front, first and foremost, but at the same time, we do make sure that emotional needs are meet,” says Principal Jan Richey.

Muhlenberg County School students return to school tomorrow. Dawson Springs Independent School students resume their school year on January 18th.

(This story was originally published on January 3, 2022)

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