Local schools continue classes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 11, 2002


Staff Writers

The Troy State University Office of Provost said "in view of the atrocious terrorist activities in New York and Washington," all classes on the Troy campus will continue to meet as scheduled until further notice.

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TSU officials reported the situation will be closely monitored and adjustments will be made if necessary.

Any changes will be announced on the Troy State University web site www.troyst.edu and through area radio and television outlets.

Hank Jones, superintendent of the Troy City Schools, said students had not checked out of school in droves like in other areas of the nation.

"I think it’s important we go on," Jones said, adding terrorists would want America to shut down daily operations.

"We’re saddened by the events that have occurred over the last 12 hours," Jones said.

Schools in the city school system are flying flags at half-staff in honor and memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks.

Also, he said school counselors are making themselves available for students and faculty and staff are conscious of what has happened.

The Pike County School System has a general security plan in place which basically covers day-to-day operations. However, the school system also has a higher play within that plan that calls for a lock down of the schools.

John Key, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said the plan was developed several years to react to all situations between the normal and the extreme.

"After the attacks on the World Trade Center we were at a heightened state of alert, however we were not locked down," Key said. "The staff at all of our schools were aware that we needed to be cognizant of visitors to the campuses. And, some parents did come to the schools and pick up there children, but that’s not unusual during times of distress. But, this does make a situation seem worse than it is."

Key said all precautions are taken to provide for the safety of children while they are under the care of the school system.

"Obviously, we can’t keep an airplane from flying into a building, but we do have a reactionary plan in place," he said. "We’ve even practiced for these type situations."

Key said the sense of well-being and security of all American has undoubtedly been shaken by the terrorist attacks.

"But the likelihood of an attack like that happening here is very remote," he said. "We did not feel that the safety of our students was threatened in any way," he said. "However, we did exercise every precaution."

The superintendent of the county schools said he had not had an opportunity to talk with a large number of students but faculty members said the students experienced feelings of disbelief, numbness, horror and sorrow.

"They expressed sympathy for the families of the victims and shock over the utter destruction and, or course, retribution," Key said. "The students feel that someone should be held responsible for these terrible acts. They want to strike back at those who would do such cowardly acts.

"We must realize those people are extremists who look at terrorist attacks as great acts," Key said. "We can’t comprehend that kind of thinking. They have a different system of beliefs and way of live. We can never comprehend their feelings. It’s almost like an extension of the Crusades – a different way of striking out. Our students just can understand that – who can?"