For years, legislators have made every effort to separate church and state. However in Lockney, you could say the residents there have a burning desire to ignore that. Lockney High School resumed classes today in church three days after the school was destroyed by fire. 166 students went back to school today after the tragic fire. The First Baptist Church of Lockney opened its doors to Lockney ISD for as long as they need.
It was the first day at what students were calling Lockney High School - the downtown campus. Students filled the halls of the First Baptist Church - a temporary place for school. Mr. Hallmark woke up this morning knowing he had a big job today. "To make sure the kids understood we are here for them. It's been a tough two days and I was glad to see them," said Todd Hallmark.
He addressed a sanctuary full of teenagers not as a pastor, but as a principal, with a spiritual lesson. "I know that you are aware that there were two of your classmates involved in what happened. I know that you know who they are. The only thing I'm going to say about that is that I ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers because they are going to go through a tough time," said Principal Hallmark.
"Coach Hallmark is a good principal. He's going to get us through this and we'll be alright," says LHS Senior Brett Johnson. "It's all about the students and teachers, they are what makes this place run. I think my job is easy," says Hallmark. Down the hall Ms. Azua usually teaches Spanish, but her lesson plan today? Optimism. "I don't think it's going to be a downer. We know that there are good things coming. We'll just make it better than what it was," says Kathlyn Azua.
Scripture covered the windows of the First Baptist Church. "Though it's a tragic situation the Lord is still with us and so he brought us to this place to make the best of the situation and turn it into a positive," says Hallmark.
We asked principal Hallmark today if there was anything our viewers could do for the school and he told NewsChannel 11 that if there was one thing he knew they needed it was prayers.
Lockney Officials Put Time on Rebuilding Efforts