Riverside High School students are dealing with the loss of several classmates over a short period of time. Dealing with these types of tragedies can be tough, especially for teenagers.
"They're together. I think some of them are happy to be together and lean on each other. Some didn't go to classes today and that's fine," said Valerie Harper, principal of Riverside High School in Belle, WV.
It was the first day back for Riverside High School students, after dealing with an unspeakable loss. Two of their classmates and friends gone forever.
"You know to be honest, there's no formula to this other than just being supportive," said Mike Taylor, a counselor at Riverside High School.
On Saturday, Cody Perdue and Mason Roush were involved in a head-on collision on MacCorckle Avenue near Marmet, WV. Perdue was a senior at Riverside while Roush graduated from the school last year. Neither of the two survived the crash.
Riverside is no stranger when it comes to tragedy. The school has lost four students in six months. Despite each tragedy, students and teachers say they have come together as one community.
"We're a big family, it's a warrior nation out here. Respect and protect is the same thing. We take care of each other," said Harper.
Throughout the day counselors were on hand to speak to the students. Riverside brought in three extra counselors to help their existing four. Every teacher spoke to their students at the beginning of the day about the accident. Some classes decided to make posters dedicated to the two boys while others thought of ways to raise funds for their families.
"We've supported each other and try to be strong for the kids. It has been. To be honest with you, even though we are getting good at this, it is not something you want to be good at," said Taylor.
The school has encouraged students to give each other space. Counselors said having patience with one another is important because not everyone grieves the same way.
"Tomorrow we'll just continue on and try to be together and push through like a warrior," said Harper.
School officials said that although students are offered counseling at school, the grieving process goes beyond the classroom. They are encouraging parents to speak to their children as well as offer support and advice.