Scioto County residents pray for students’ safety


WEST PORTSMOUTH, OHIO (WOWK) — As parents, students, and teachers prepare for the start of school, there are still some concerns about their health and safety. Those in the religious community in southern Ohio are looking toward a higher power to keep these kids safe.

Being prepared for the first day of school is always important, but after school started last year, parents and school faculty weren’t expecting what was to come. The worldwide pandemic forced schools to move to remote learning, but now students are heading back to the classrooms.

Portsmouth West High School senior Isaac Horner says he’s excited to get back to some form of normal this year.

I think it’s going to be thrilling just to see everyone not have a mask and see everyone’s actual face.

Isaac Horner, Portsmouth West High School senior

With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, including those hospitalized by the Delta variant, it raises concerns for safety, especially for those who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.

Each year, groups from all over Scioto County stand outside of local school districts to do one simple thing, pray. Green Freewill Baptist Church Pastor Dave Sibole says he “definitely believes in the power of prayer.”

Members of Green Freewill Baptist Church stood outside of the Portsmouth West Middle School on Sunday to join in the county-wide effort to “Pray Around the Schools.” Sibole says since being in the area, this is one example of the community showing togetherness.

It’s a tighter community here and I appreciate that and I wish it was more existent elsewhere.

Dave Sibole, Green Freewill Baptist Church Pastor

Kids in Scioto County are scheduled to go back to school on August 31st.

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