Westfield student: “lots of pressure” as school tries to get back to normal

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WESTFIELD, Ind. (April 24, 2015) -- Students who went back to school in Westfield on Friday, just nine hours after the stage collapse, said it made for a strange day.

"Everyone was still a bit shaken," student A.J. Hillis said.

"It was really relaxed," student Tamara Williams said.

Williams said the day started with an announcement from the Principal and time to reflect in students' early classes.

"Basically it was just, we’re going to sit down and talk about what happened a little bit and then just get on with the rest of the day," Williams said.

Westfield High School made the decision to resume school as usual, despite the stage collapse at a popular "American Pie" performance that injured more than a dozen students Thursday night.

Williams said that the day went relatively smoothly, other than some students being out due to injuries or the shock of witnessing the collapse.

"I have choir and ... more than half my class wasn’t there today," Williams said.

Her friend, Carson Piersall, noticed a difference as well.

"There were (around) six kids on crutches in class," Piersall said.

Those were kids who had been on the stage and still chose to attend their classes. It was a normalcy Superintendent Mark Keen said he hoped the day could have Friday.

"(It was) a nice, quiet, productive day at the high school," Keen said.

What happened inside that auditorium, though, was the talk of the school day. Students said it was hard to avoid the subject and wonder what caused the collapse.

"It feels like the shock factor was still kind of overcasting on everyone," student Andrew Baier said.

Still, though, students like Williams wanted to get back to normal and celebrate the success of the end of a school year, with prom a week away and lots of activities ahead.

"It’s Westfield. What we do is figure out a plan B for everything. So we’re going to get through this," Williams said.