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Other communities should look at us as an example

The other night I was listening to the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.

During the programming, it was reported that 19 children have committed suicide following the shutdown of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic — 19.

While this number may not compare to the thousands who have lost their lives to the virus, we have to remember these 19 young people were not infected. It was the residual effects caused by the pandemic that led them to take their own lives.

I absolutely cannot imagine what their parents are feeling. To know their child was suffering so immensely on the inside that their souls spiraled into a state of being that led them to believe there was no other way to get out from under the pain.

During interviews with some of the parents of these children, these mothers and fathers said, they believed their depression had been caused by the lack of socialization and their child just could not handle it any longer.

I tried to imagine how I would have functioned as a teen not being able to be with my friends. It would have been devastating.

In those early adolescent years when children begin moving away from their parents and start growing their independence, it is essential for them to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging from their friends.

I guess in this day and age when we thought social media had become a young person’s main source of communication and connectedness, that notion has proved to be wrong. They apparently still need to see and hear from their friends in person.

During another news program Thursday, there was a news clip of a parent reeling at the school board where his child attended.

He was trying to convince them — beg them — to open up the schools. He even referred to the Centers For Disease Control’s findings that it is safe for children to go to school provided they adhere to safety protocols, including wearing a mask and washing their hands.

Following the program, I felt sad for the parents and children who are relegated to only distance learning.

Fortunately for us, we live in a community where that is not the case.

All three of the school systems — the Vicksburg Warren School District, Vicksburg Catholic School and Porter’s Chapel Academy — opened their doors this past fall and have in-person learning.

And for those who are still leery of sending their children back to school, the Vicksburg Warren School District also offers distance learning, essentially giving parents options.

In their determination to serve the children of the community, the three school systems have worked diligently to prevent the spread of the virus, and I applaud them for their efforts. Surely, this has not been an easy task.

I also give praise to all our school administrators, teachers, custodians, bus drivers and anyone else who has worked for the good of the children in Warren County. No doubt they have shown they care about our children.

You know, this little Mississippi town ain’t so daft. Maybe some of those schools in big cities should take note and use us as a model.

Their children may be the better for it.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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