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Superintendent of Warren County Public Schools on tornado impact, outreach efforts

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 12:53 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Warren County Public Schools have closed December 13-14, as many families in the school system were displaced by the deadly tornadoes that ripped through Bowling Green.

A Red Cross shelter is set up at Jennings Creek Elementary School, along with a command post for first responders.

Rob Clayton, superintendent of Warren County Public Schools, said he has been informed by officials that WCPS students are among those who have been confirmed dead in the storm’s passage. “We know we’ve lost some students, we’ve lost some families and our thoughts and prayers are with them. It’s been, obviously, a traumatic event for them and our staff.” In the wake of the tragedy, he said mental health counselors have been deployed and services will be readily available to help those who need help processing the loss.

Clayton expressed appreciation and admiration for WCPS faculty and staff. “We had administrators on the ground at 2:00 a.m. searching houses in the affected areas, and had teachers going door to door, all unsolicited. I think the one thing that’s inspirational from this is you see the hundreds of employees, almost every administrator, on-site, all doing that on their own. We did not deploy, per see, individuals. This is a community event, but as you can see a lot of it’s fallen on the hands of our school folks, which again, we embrace. We’re about community, we’re about helping our families.”

The superintendent called the outpouring of support overwhelming. “We’re very thankful for the support and want to look to help these families rebuild and that’s where the monetary support can be tremendous in helping them find housing.”

The school district said for those inquiring how to reach out and help, monetary donations are now preferred due to a lack of space for more supplies. Go here to donate to Warren County Public Schools Disaster Relief Fund. You can also search Warren County Public Schools on the GoFundMe website. Additionally, you can also go to any Independence Bank branch to donate to WCPS Synergy Relief Fund.

Clayton said, ‘It’s going to be long-term recovery and we want to be there not just in the immediate impact but long term.”

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