Franklin H.S. remembers students killed at Big Blue River Dam

Jason Moran
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Nearly 1,700 students returned to Franklin Community High School Wednesday for the first day of classes, while remembering two lives lost.

They were also in need of emotional guidance after the loss of Jason Moran and Michael Chadbourne at the start of the summer.

The two football players rushed into the Big Blue River Dam in Edinburgh to save classmate Sarah McLevish, just days after school let out for the summer.

The first day back started with a moment of reflection for the two and for McLevish who is still recovering.

A video tribute also played, including messages on how to process everything that happened.

"It's a little scary on this day because we don't know what we're going to have to face," said Jan Henderson, a guidance counselor at FCHS.

Henderson spent Wednesday counseling students, although she herself is healing.

"I knew the students so it's difficult for us," she said. "Sometimes I think the kids like to see that. They like to see that we're with them in this journey."

That journey is now focused on moving on.

Two permanent ribbons are now prominently displayed in the high school, but those around town are coming down.

"We feel it's important that we make this transition because that's part of the healing process and that's what we're trying to teach our students," said FCHS Principal Doug Harter.

The lesson isn't found in a text book.

"I don't know that we need to necessarily have the right thing to say, we're just working through it together," Henderson said.

Additional events are planned throughout the school year to remember the lives lost including at the first FCHS home football game where there will be a special dedication for the two football players.