Elon students struggle after the tornado

Since EF-3 tornado hit Amherst County some students are traumatized

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

Elon, Va. - Sitting through a thunderstorm may never be the same for some students at Elon Elementary School. 

"The fact that they've actually gone through this, and this is not the norm. It's never supposed to happen to you, but the fact that it has, we take it one day at a time,” Kimberly Scott, principal at Elon Elementary, said.

School counselor Rachel Baker said that since an EF3 tornado damaged parts of their community a month ago, some students are still traumatized.

"Mainly, just fear of the rain and the thunder, afraid that their windows may blow in again or, even if hadn't happened, afraid their windows are going to shatter because they know that happened in some other people's houses,” Baker said.

Principal Scott said the school has developed communication between teachers, the counselor and parents. 

"My teachers are wonderful with communicating with the parents to let them know, 'Hey I noticed this about your kid today. You may wanna have a discussion' or we'll inform them if the teachers felt compelled to send them to a counselor,” Scott said.

School officials said parents should talk to their children about their concerns, explain the scientific fact behind storms and answer questions at the child's developmental level. 

"(I) encourage them to come talk to me. Encourage their parents to give me phone calls, let me know what's going on. For the summer time, some of them may need some outside professional counseling since they won't be in school,” Baker said

Click here to learn more about helping children cope with a natural disaster. 

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