Joplin, Mo., Students Return to School Three Months After Deadly Tornado

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Amid Devastation, Town Expresses Gratitude

Like so many displaced by the storm, this family has had to leave Joplin because of a lack of homes. But the school system, which lost seven students and one staff member, is encouraging all of its own both near and far to return in an effort to get its students back on track.

There are many hurdles left for Joplin's students and staff, such as the bigger issues including trauma, to the smaller but not mundane like how to do a tornado drill.

But for a community that lost so much in minutes, the overwhelming message to the outside world is one of gratitude to those across the country and around the world who helped them achieve the seemingly unbelievable task of starting school on time.

"What goes around comes around," special education teacher Carla Sheets said. "Someday, if it's somebody else's turn, we will be there for them. That's what we believe here in Joplin."

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