Editorial: Sowams School needs a hug

Posted 10/13/22

We have written about too many tragedies while documenting life in this community. We have been to, photographed and interviewed those impacted by deadly crashes, boating accidents, even murders, …

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Editorial: Sowams School needs a hug

Posted

We have written about too many tragedies while documenting life in this community. We have been to, photographed and interviewed those impacted by deadly crashes, boating accidents, even murders, here in Barrington.

The past week has been as jarring and unsettling as anything we have seen.

Sowams School is hurting, and this entire community feels its pain. Everywhere we go in town, people are talking about the tragedies that have shaken this beloved, little school. People are whispering in coffee shops, hugging their neighbors, crying with each other.

When one teacher died just before the start of school, it was sad, tragic, painful. When a second died last week, it was stunning, staggering, impossible to comprehend.

Neither death is more significant than the other — but added together, they compound into something difficult to bear.

This is why Sowams School closed for the rest of the week. This is why grief counselors were sent to half the schools in the district. This is why therapy dogs greeted the students as they returned to school Tuesday morning.

This is also why the Sowams community held a vigil Wednesday night, to allow the town to show its love and support for this small school community as it confronts its tremendous grief.

Sowams School and its devoted faculty need a hug. They deserve to know how much we care.

– By Scott Pickering

2022 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.