Brunswick students prepare for emotional return to school following deaths of 4 classmates

BRUNSWICK - Brunswick High School students will return to classes Wednesday and it is expected to be emotional for some.

On June 3, four Brunswick students -- Jeffery Chaya, Blake Bartchak, Kevin Fox and Lexi Poerner -- were all killed in a car crash in June. Julia Romito was the only survivor.

Blake and Lexi would have returned as seniors Wednesday. For many of their classmates, it will be their first time back in the building since the crash happened.

Students will recognize a new display in a glass casing filled with letters, photos and signs. These are all items from the crash site.

Principal Tracy Wheeler said the lockers of the students who lost their lives in the crash have become a memorial. There is also a banner with messages from the students. But after the first three days of school, the hallways will be back to normal.

"The temporary memorials that are up right now are a good thing for kids, but we do need to take those down. We do need to tell kids we're going to move on. We're not going to forgot but we are going to move on," Wheeler said.

School officials met with crisis counselors from a local center and they determined to remove all the reminders from the crash.

Principal Wheeler said she wants parents and students to know that Brunswick High School has a support team in place. So the school has set up five counselors on staff and there are three extras available something Wheeler said these kids may need.

"There were kids that buried four of their friends that week. There were kids that buried one of their close friends. It's hard to tell what it's going to be like when they come back." Wheeler said.

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