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Meigs County teachers, counselors meet with families to help in coping process

Eva Elwood and her 5-year-old daughter Rosalin at Meigs South Elementary after deadly bus crash - Isaiah Kim-Martinez WTVC.jpg
Eva Elwood and her 5-year-old daughter Rosalin were at Meigs South Elementary, two days after a school bus crash killed a 7-year-old girl and the driver and injured seven other students. On Thursday, teachers and counselors met with families to help cope after the crash. (Image: Isaiah Kim-Martinez/WTVC)

Meigs South Elementary is paying tribute to the bus driver and the 7-year-old student who lost their lives in a school bus crash on Tuesday.

Balloons have been hung up to honor them.

Meigs County Schools were closed Thursday because of weather concerns, but some doors were still open for students and parents in need.

Young students like 5-year-old kindergartner Rosalin love school and their teachers.

“I get to paint a lot,” she said.

Her mother tells NewsChannel 9 that it’s been a long two days for her daughter, away from the classroom.

That is until Thursday, when they made the trip inside Meigs South Elementary – even on an off day.

“I got a phone call, and the school said they’d be open from 9 a.m. to around 3 p.m.,” said Eva Elwood, Rosalin’s mom.

Elwood says some teachers invited parents to bring students in to see their teachers, or counselors, to talk things through, even if only for a few moments.

Comfort and unity were the focuses.

“And to bring back some sense of normalcy,” she said.

It was a chance to cope following Tuesday’s accident that has left the Meigs County community hurting.

“I can’t imagine if it were one of my children,” Elwood said.

With school going back as normal on Friday, NewsChannel 9 asked if we’ll see hesitancy from parents in how their kids get to and from school – and whether there will be more car riders in the coming days.

“I don’t think I’d doubt for a second to put her on a bus,” Elwood said.

Elwood tells us her trust in each and every bus driver hasn’t wavered.

“One 1st-grader looked up at his teacher and said, ‘I’m coming to school tomorrow, and I’m riding the bus,’” Director of Schools Clint Baker had said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, we’ve even heard that young students themselves have been feeling the same way.

“Accidents happen every day – it could have very well been us, as car riders,” Elwood said.

We’ve learned federal investigators will help in figuring out exactly how the accident happened.

The NTSB is investigating. In the past, we’ve seen this lead to policy changes at times.

On Wednesday, Baker had said that their buses don’t have seatbelts.

Eight states require them on school buses. Tennessee is not one of them.

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