September 09
10:18 2021

By Denise A. Smith

Earlier today, I had the task of taking my little cousin Karis back to Mount Tabor to gather her belongings that were left behind on Wednesday when she ran for cover during the untimely school shooting. What I witnessed upon arrival was a very surreal and heartbreaking experience. 

The looks on the faces of each student that arrived (many in tears), each nestled close to their parents where their arm was around them for comfort and protection, was unexplainable. Yet each student was greeted with open arms by a member of the Mount Tabor staff including principals, teachers, guidance counselors, and coaches who were all there wearing “TRUE BLUE” Spartan apparel, waiting to assist students. Everywhere I looked I saw them hugging children, praying for them, crying with them, and more importantly, loving on them as they entered and exited the school. 

There were grief counselors on site to administer immediate assistance to any student in need. Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough and his deputies were also there, offering their love, support, words of encouragement, and hugs to the students as well. Further showing us that they each genuinely care for our children!

Although a dark cloud was cast over Mount Tabor High School this past Wednesday, today the sun shined bright again and the love, kindness and compassion I saw around Tabor City reminded me once again why I chose to send both of my girls there when they were in high school. You see, for many students, Mount Tabor is their home away from home; and as parents, we have spent a lot of time there too. Whether it was to attend a sporting event, volunteer, attend an open house or parent-teacher conference, each of us became a part of the Spartan family. 

That is why it is my sincere prayer that as the days go by and some of the students, staff, and administration prepare to return to school next week, that everyone who was affected by this tragedy in any way finds a way to unite together to rebuild the trust, adoration and school spirit that has always been a focal point in the Mount Tabor community. 

While I know this won’t happen overnight, I believe each of us can help by continuing to keep the students in prayer. Let’s reassure them that we are here for them, and remind them that there are resources available to help them heal so that they know they do not have to go through this alone.

As Sheriff Kimbrough said, “We won’t let fear stop us from moving forward TOGETHER! We will get through this!!” 

To schedule an appointment at one of our school-based health centers or clinics, please call 336-703-4273. 


Denise A. Smith is the Founder/CEO of N’Vision Consulting Firm and graduate of Winston-Salem State University where she earned a B.A. degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. She is also the mother of two daughters, who are Mount Tabor High School alumnae, Kaiyah Smith (2015) and KaMari Smith (2020). 

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