BENTON, La. – Benton Middle School students returned to class Tuesday. Straight line winds early Saturday morning destroyed part of the school. The roof over the 6th grade wing was ripped off, and rain flooded areas nearby. The 6th grade wing is blocked off from student access. The library and front office are too, those areas took in water and are still drying out.
At the start of the day, Principal Kyle Machen brought the 6th and 7th graders together to talk about changes on campus. Then students went to class.
"We have found and in my experience as an educator of 20 years now is that our students like to be assured of what's going on and so we gave them that guarantee that they are safe and secure, that's our number one responsibility as educators, and then we also guaranteed them that we would fulfill our number one priority which was insuring high levels of learning for all," said Machen.
Machen's daughter's, both in the 6th grade, said they weren't sure what they would see when they got to school Tuesday morning. The girls said they did not expect to see the boarded up wall covering the A wing where the 6th graders used to be. Both girls were in high spirits, and said they learned a lot from the storm.
"We're safe and knowing that if we were here when that happened that we would be safe in the hallways just as we were when we weren't here when that happened," Lanie Machen said.
School and school board leaders were set to meet Tuesday night to figure out what to do next.