News & Announcements

TFS community remembers lives lost in Florida



Tallulah Falls School hosted two assemblies on March 14, one month after the tragic deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

At the upper school, Director of Security Dustin Rogers, Upper School Academic Dean Kim Popham and Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell spoke to students about school safety.

After the presentations, at 10 a.m. students were invited to gather at the flagpole in the front of the academic building to observe 17 moments of silence. More than 100 students joined Popham and other faculty and staff for the solemn observance.

“We cultivate a family atmosphere at TFS,” Popham said. “I was so moved by the time spent in silence with our student body. I reminded them that we are indeed a family and that we are called to take care of each other.”

Wednesday assemblies are a regular part of the middle school schedule, providing the chance to share a timely message during the regular school routine. A video TED Talk, “How to Magically Connect with Anyone” featuring magician Brian Miller, introduced students to the topic of the day – the importance of building community and maintaining healthy and productive relationships.

After the video, students, faculty and staff gathered at the bell to read the names and a few details about the 17 lives that were lost on Feb. 14. After each reading, the bell tolled once.

“The purpose of our assembly was to work on strengthening our middle school community while remembering the students and staff from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The video was meaningful because it accentuated the importance of connecting,” said David Chester, middle school academic dean. “What happened at the bell was a surreal experience; it was meant to be a quiet time of reflection with a few words spoken about each of the students and staff members who died in Florida; it turned into a time of authentic connection and empathy. Students and staff shared in the silence and significance of the moment. We will remember this day for a long time.”

After the assembly, students transitioned into houses to further the conversation about community building and school safety procedures.

School counselor Elizabeth Kyle provided to parents a follow-up email with age-appropriate resources.

Click here to watch Brian Miller’s TED Talk.