Surviving Students of Ferry Disaster Return to School
D-Bo , June 25, 2014, 9:47 a.m.
The surviving students who survived April's ferry sinking returned to school on Wednesday. More than 70 students are on their way back to school, more than 71 days after the deadly accident. The 74 juniors of Danwon High School in Ansan, south of Seoul, and their parents arrived at the school campus in groups by bus in the morning with the families of those killed or missing in the disaster standing in lines to encourage them.
Some of the surviving students looked around the campus with their tearful eyes. They have underwent collective counseling and psychological treatment programs for more than two months to recover from the trauma of the tragedy. The children were among the 172 people rescued from the ferry that sank in southwestern waters on April 16. The disaster claimed about 300 lives, mostly Danwon students on a school excursion.
"Our children's returning to school was a choice to get back to their normal daily lives as students," the parents said in a joint statement. "Even though they don't have friends and teachers with whom they studied together, we believe they will do well."
"We ardently hope to go back to our life before the accident. Please treat us as ordinary 18-year-old boys and girls," a representative of the students said.
After a brief ceremony, the children entered the school after bowing to their parents and the victims' families. The local educational office and the school authority said they will continue to focus their education on facilitating communication and healing of the children and help them adapt well to normal school life.