School helping students cope with missing teenager

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - As day four in the search for Sidney Randell winds down, the Walnut Ridge School District is helping children cope with day after day of no new information.

The district realizes that 14-year-old Sidney's disappearance is affecting more than just her 8th grade classmates.

"It impacts the entire school," counselor, Randy Johnson told Region 8 News. "It's gonna impact everybody from early elementary to high school."

Johnson said as there is no information one way or another of where Sidney might be, they are remaining hopeful. However, rumors spread on social media and through text aren't making that easy.

"That's what we've tried to reinforce. Until we know something official, let's not get carried away with stuff we're seeing on our phones," Johnson advised.

Though this is a tough situation for everyone, including Sidney's friends and classmates, Johnson said the support is evident across their campus.

"My 5th grade girls basketball team, Monday night they had yellow ribbons on, they had symbols on their arms, had Sidney's name written on their arms and they played that game for Sidney," Johnson explained. "Our elementary hall, they know what's going on and they are doing things to show their support. And we want that to continue."

Signs of support like Sidney's name or initials, written on the arms or wrists of nearly every child at the school and the infinity symbol, meaning no matter the outcome, Sidney is always a part of their lives.

The way his school has reacted makes Middle School Principal, Derek Bramlett proud of his students.

"The kids have been over at Sidney's house, they've been with her mother, they've been with each other," Bramlett said. "You hate to say that a situation like this brings a community together but it really has brought our kids together."

Johnson also wants students to keep in mind that everyone will handle this situation differently and if a student wants or needs to talk, the district has brought in many additional counselors to talk to.

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