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Identity & Community

As Wounds Heal, Students Return To Franklin Regional High School

Deanna Garcia
90.5 WESA

A few of the most critically wounded in last Wednesday’s stabbing incident at Franklin Regional High School remain hospitalized. As they continue to heal, students, faculty and staff will return to a normal schedule Wednesday.

“Things are healing here, as best as they can,” said Mary Catherine Reljac, Franklin Regional School District assistant superintendent. “We’ve all been through a horrific event that none of us wants to be through, but it has been a team effort to not only recover from that, but to get our students and our families back to the building so we can begin school stronger than ever.”

Franklin Regional High School faculty and staff returned to work Monday, and on Tuesday the building was open for students and their families to visit and tour before returning for classes. Along with teachers and other staff, counselors were on hand for the open house day. On Wednesday, the goal is to resume as close to a normal school day as possible.

“However, we as a school district will have some extra supports in place,” Reljac said. “We will still have some counselors and some therapy dogs available, and we will be increasing some supervision of our students to make sure that everyone is doing OK as well as have some supports in place for our staff members to make sure that they are OK.”

Reljac said the outpouring of support from the surrounding community, region and beyond has been welcomed by the school community. As parents and students toured the familiar hallways, they saw banners with messages of support from other school districts from around the region and other cities and states.

Twenty-one students and a security guard were injured in the April 9 stabbing spree. Many others witnessed the violence. Sixteen-year-old Alex Hribal has been charged as an adult with attempted homicide and aggravated assault in the incident.

“We have some students who were affected who are planning to return, and we have some who are not,” Reljac said. “We are working with those families to make sure that all of them have the supports that they need and can make the decisions they need to as we return to school, and we will help them with that process as best as we can.”