Area School Handles Sept. 11 Tragedy

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

"To look up in the day and night and see absolutely no planes flying whatsoever was really strange. I'll never forget that," said Warren Central High School Assistant Principal, John Dempsey.

It seems everyone can remember where they were and the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001.

"I just remember somebody coming in and saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and my first thought...I think what a lot of people thought... is it was an accident," said Dempsey.

Faculty and students at Warren Central High School soon realized the crashes were anything but accidents.

"There was sorda a stunned silence across the whole building," said Dempsey.

As the Twin Towers crumbled, televisions within the school were turned off.

"While we wanted our kids to see those things unfold, we didn't know how vividly we wanted them to be seen," said Dempsey.

This left Assistant Principal, John Dempsey, with the task of relaying what was going on to the students.

"When I walked into a particular teacher's classroom and saw her crying... I think that's when it really hit me that it was truly a tragedy," said Dempsey.

He says as hard as the day was on students and faculty members, being at school together on this day was a big help.

"I think what schools provided was a sense of normalcy for people. You had your schedule, you had your teachers, your classes, you ate lunch at a specific time, and you could take a break from all that for 6 or 7 hours a day. Our teachers played a part in that too here at school. They used it as a teachable moment to talk to students and we had some conversations that weren't really necessarily about the core content, but we had some conversations I think the kids will remember for the rest of their lives," said Dempsey.

The World Trade Center tragedy hit even closer to home at Warren Central High School.

At the time, one of the teachers who worked there had a family member who worked in one of the Twin Towers. Luckily, they weren't there when the events of September 11th unfolded.

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