Hurricane Dorian’s Effect on Schools

Only just a couple of weeks into school, and the East Coast was hit with one of the most destructive hurricanes ever recorded in early September.

During the first week of September, the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian swept across several East Coast states and the Bahamas, causing mass destruction and unprecedented damage to these areas.

“Hundreds of thousands of students have been affected by the closures, an interruption that comes at the start of the school year,” according to the Washington Post.

Many of the same cities, mainly those in North and South Carolina, are still recovering from Hurricane Florence that hit earlier this year.

“More than 40 school districts in Florida closed as a precaution Tuesday, and several planned to remain closed longer,” according to the Washington Post. “Several college and university campuses were also closed, including the University of Central Florida in Orlando, which has more than 60,000 students.”

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia declared at least five counties along the Atlantic coast closed in order to do a mandatory evacuation. Kemp set up some schools and makeshift shelters further inland while the hurricane evacuation was still in force.

Although a majority of the schools that were brought to a halt during this time are now back in session, schools in the Bahamas and more affected places will still be canceled for as long as it takes for them to recover and to make sure that the schools are ready and safe enough for students to attend.

“Once [the storm] passes and we can evaluate the status of our schools, we will make a determination on when it is safe for our staff and students to return,” said Mark Mullins, a superintendent for Brevard County School District in Florida. 

There are many things that need to be approved to ensure the students safety while returning to school such as, electrical and plumbing works. 

“Bahamian education officials are scrambling to find classroom space for up to 10,000 students displaced by Hurricane Dorian,” said Zachery Fagenson, a writer for reuter.com.

In the Bahamas, around 10,000 kids between the ages of 4-19 are in need of new schools due to the mass destruction of their hometown.

“These kids need their education, how are they going to get jobs or have any options?” said Chandra Alexis, an 18-year-old evacuee from the devastated northern island of Great Abaco, about 150 km north of Nassau.

Many students and parents in the Bahamas are searching endlessly to find schools that will allow their students to attend, but many of the schools are already over capacity or destroyed in the hurricane.

Although the Bahamas and some parts of the East Coast have a long recovery ahead there are ways that people can help. People can donate money to those affected through Go-Fund-Me and nonprofit organizations to make it easier for these cities to heal.

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