Demopolis High School stuffs the bus for Selma High

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, January 26, 2023

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By Andrea Burroughs

The Demopolis Times

The City of Selma received significant damage from a tornado that touched down on January 12.

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To help with recovery, the staff and students of Demopolis High School have come together to “Stuff the Bus” for Selma High School. DHS principal Terina Gantt said the donated supplies were delivered on Thursday

Gantt said that the idea came about after she spoke with Selma High School principal, Stoney Pritchett. The initial conversation was unrelated to the storm damage, but Gantt asked if there was anything DHS could do to help in recovery efforts.

“He said, ‘Mrs. Gantt, to be honest with you, my kids just need school supplies. We need plywood, and we need water in order for us to get back to school’. I said that is something we can absolutely help with,” said Gantt.

After speaking with Selma’s principal, Gantt said she started talking with other people about how they could go about gathering donations. She put the word out to the school clubs such as FBLA, DECA, and the CTE and CTSO programs and athletic teams to see what they could donate.

Gantt said the response so far “has been outstanding.” The DHS basketball teams have donated at least 100 cases of water, school supplies have been coming in, and Charles Jones and David Van, both teachers at DHS, have agreed to donate plywood. Help at Home has also donated ten computer monitors and keyboards that are all new.

“It’s been a collective effort from everybody in our school, students, faculty, and staff, to help the cause. We would hope that if the roles were reversed, they would do the same thing for us,” said Gantt. “They’re in our area when it comes to athletics. We play them in almost every sport, so they’re a familiar opponent, but they’re also a familiar friend.”

Gantt said she is not sure of the extent of damage at the high school, but the supplies are more for students the tornado has directly and negatively impacted.

“They’re going to come back with homes destroyed and certainly will not have school supplies. Many students are coming back without a place to live or are in temporary housing at this point,” said Gantt. “So the least of their concerns at this point is having school supplies. So this is just one of those ways that we can help and take something off their plates.”

Gantt said that she plans to bring several of her students to Selma to unload the supplies and learn what it means to be a responsible citizen and help your fellow man.

“In the education world, we are called to ensure that our kids receive everything they need to go on to the next level. We have a huge responsibility to teach our kids to be better humans and what it means to be a good human when they leave our school,” said Gantt. “I think service is incredibly important. I think that we are called to serve our counterparts. That is what we are called to do. If we can teach our kids that that is a part of their responsibility as a citizen, then I think we’ve done a pretty good job.”

The supplies that were brought to the school will be used to hand out to the general public in Selma who are still suffering from the tornado.

“It’s amazing to see our neighbor school come to our rescue,” Selma City Council Woman Lesia James  said.  This is really going to make the kids feel better. We have had several high schools come help but to have Demopolis and young people bring supplies to help our people it’s just amazing.”