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Schoolmates of victims of South Korean ferry tragedy return to school Thursday

Ribbons and tributes to the victims of the South Korea ferry tragedy decorate a gate to Danwon High School, where many of the students attended. (AP Photo)
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ANSAN, South Korea (AP) - Students in the city that was hit hardest by the South Korean ferry disaster are back at school.

They returned Thursday to a campus that was a landscape of yellow ribbons, flowers, and photos of classmates and teachers who make up the vast majority of the more than 300 people who are feared dead. Notes and messages to missing teachers and students are posted on walls, stairs, doors and windows.

At Danwon High School, relatives in funeral processions visited the classrooms of their loved ones, before moving on to cremate the remains.

Education officials say the first two days of classes will focus on helping students cope with losses and trauma. Teachers will have help from psychiatrists and professional counselors.

Classes for seniors began today, while younger grades will begin next week. It's not clear when the 75 students who survived will return. Most of them remain hospitalized, many for mental stress.

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