Twelve-year-old Brooke Parker is one of many Joplin teenagers left without a place to go this semester. Her school, East Middle School, lost both its gym and roof. Its building is not structurally capable for the upcoming school year, so for now, Brooke attends seventh grade in a warehouse.
"I [didn't] know what to expect, especially with gym and choir and extracurricular activities," Brooke said.
While East Middle School suffered extreme damage, Joplin High School was destroyed completely. Bonnie Ardrey and DiVaughn Simmons, both 14-year-old freshmen, were eager to start high school there. But because of the deadly tornado, they now go to Memorial Middle School instead.
"I was excited to go to the new high school, but [now I'm] bummed about going back to middle school. I wanted to experience what my other family [members] did but I'm not going to be able to now," Bonnie said.
DiVaughn may not go to school in Joplin at all. His family is considering moving to Summer Creek, Texas, but no decision has been made.
Though DiVaughn's example is extreme, it is not uncommon for Joplin students to move where schools will better meet their needs.
"Most of my friends are moving to another school district," Bonnie said.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Brooke Parker, former East students, featured in article
East Middle School student Brooke Parker and former East students DeVaughan Simmons and Bonnie Ardrey are featured in an article posted today on the St. Louis Jewish Light website: