Classes Resume in Wake of Shootings
Some reluctant pupils had to be coaxed out of their parents’ cars as Westside Middle School in Jonesboro got back to the business of learning after four classmates and a teacher were killed in a schoolyard ambush last week. Twenty-two of the school’s 239 students were absent, only 10 more than on a normal day. A dozen counselors were on hand to ease the transition from grief to learning. “I’m hearing laughter, I’m hearing talking,” said Betty Stockton, a school district psychologist. Two students at the school, Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, are accused of using stolen weapons to gun down the victims during a fake fire alarm. Ten were wounded; three--including a teacher--remain hospitalized. Mitchell and Andrew are being held on murder and battery charges. A community memorial service for the five victims is scheduled for today.