Bentonville School Offers Counseling
Bentonville Public Schools sent a letter to parents of Washington Junior High School parents Friday after a seventh-grader was hit by a SUV on Thursday.
The letter, signed by Bentonville Superintendent Michael Poore and Washington Principal Kathy Murry, alerted parents to the accident, in which 12-year-old Geddon Kennedy was struck by a vehicle when he attempted to cross East Central Avenue shortly after school . Parents were urged to stress road safety with their children and were told counselors were available to students during school Friday.
Kennedy was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield, Mo., where he was listed in serious condition Friday afternoon.
“We had a counselor that actually followed the student’s schedule who was hit yesterday so that every classroom had director support that that student was in,” Poore said. “We also had additional counselors and it was a combination of the Washington and Lincoln counselors, both of our junior highs being there. We had middle school counselors on call.”
Thursday’s accident was the second in as many weeks involving a Bentonville Schools student and a vehicle. Megan Davis, a 17-year-old high school student, was hit by a school bus Oct. 4 and is listed in serious condition at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.
Marsha Matayo, a counselor at Washington, said a couple of students approached her to talk about the accident Friday.
“I did have two students that observed it as they drove by, and they were upset about it so this morning they sought me out in the hallway as I was coming from the early morning meeting,” Matayo said. “We talked, they came back in, we’ve had some good discussions today with students who were troubled by what they may have seen.”
Poore said about a dozen students saw the accident. Witnesses told police that Kennedy ran between a Jeep Wrangler and a school bus stopped for a traffic light when the accident happened.
“There was another bus that had just left the stoplight area and some of those kids were looking back and actually saw it so we did have some students that saw it,” Poore said.