BVSD Return to School Comes Less Than a Week After Boulder County Was Devastated by the Marshall Fire

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Sloan Dickey

Photo Credits: Sloan Dickey, Denver7 News

Rowan Ogilvie, Features Editor

Returning to school after a traumatic event is proving to be a stressful and difficult process for many members of the BVSD community. Even for those who were not directly affected by the fire, there is a community trauma that we are all dealing with right now. Many Centaurus students and staff were evacuated because of the fires, and there has been lots of talk throughout BVSD surrounding the return to school this week (Jan. 3-7). 

The Webster Dictionary definition of trauma is “a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems, usually for a long time”. This fire was Colorado’s most destructive fire, consuming 991 structures in a matter of hours. The Marshall fire affected a whole community of people, and at its peak forced over 30,000 people to evacuate their homes. It takes time to recover from an event like that, which makes many people worried about the rapid return to school for students and staff that live in the areas affected by the fire. 

The official stance of BVSD, according to emails sent out by the superintendent, is that all students will return to school by January 5th. Doubts and confusion have been circulating, indicating an issue with clear communication. However, many students do not realize that teachers have been told to try not to introduce anything that is crucial content or will have to be made up. This is different from the way that it has been portrayed on social media, as an immediate return to standard school. The concern that was circling online was mainly related to how stressful it would be to return to school after dealing with this event and how it would affect staff and students who could not return to school because of the fires. Making this any more difficult for people who have already lost so much seems wrong, and that is the view being expressed through these messages and petitions. A quote from a recent article in the MOHI Mix stated: “Regaining a sense of normalcy by returning to school may seem like a good thing in some aspects, but considering the recent events, ‘normal’ is impossible.” 

In an email sent out on Tuesday, Principal Ryan stated how he wanted to “meet families and students where they are”, in response to the concerns of those who would not be able to attend this week. He also stated that he wants the school to “[For students who can return] be here in order to offer them support, a degree of normalcy, and the strong community that is Centaurus”. The hope is that during this hard time, the Centaurus community will come together to provide support for each other and help our community begin to heal from this traumatic event.