Magoffin County Public Schools focus on student, staff recovery and mental health after bus crash

Posted at 6:46 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 08:36:04-05

SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Magoffin County Public Schools are focusing on the health and recovery of the 18 students and one bus driver involved in Monday's serious school bus accident.

On Tuesday, the school district released a statement on social media saying that 11 of the students involved have been treated and released from the hospital – the other students and bus driver are still in medical care.

Director of student services, Justin Bailey, says, "You have a number of students in the hospital. We are trying to maintain communication with them and, as a school district, make sure that they have all of the available resources that they need."

The school district is continuing to focus on the physical health of everyone involved in Monday's accident, but they're also putting a focus on the mental health of students and staff districtwide.

The district's mental health therapist Cameron Blanton, says, "I think instances like this kind of remind us that although there are physical aspects of a tragedy like this, there is that mental aspect that a lot of people aren't aware of, and just letting the students know that there are resources out there."

Students on the bus ranged from elementary to high school age. The district's psychologist says after a major event like that one – it's essential for students and staff to feel that they can share their concerns and feelings.

The district's school psychologist, Barry Adkins, shares, "The worst thing that can happen to somebody when something like this happens is for it to be bottled up and for them to not know if it's gonna happen, they can see that it happens and it worries them, they're worried that it could happen to them. And so, we really want to assure everyone that, that the people on the staff on the school system care about the children."

Adkins also encourages parents and families to continue the conversations at home. These district leaders say they know there is probably widespread concern over school bus safety – but they want to reassure families that safety is always top of mind.

Bailey says, "That worry is just going to be there and it's always going to be in the back of our mind. It's going to be there for a while, but I would say that I still think that the school bus system across the state is the most, one of the most safe ways to make sure our students get to school."

These district leaders share that there has been an outpouring of support from communities across the state – they asked for continued prayers and support as they move forward.

On Tuesday, Magoffin County's school district leaders shared that districts and communities across the state are wearing maroon today in support of their district.