By Steve Pickett

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Last fall area residents were on guard becasue of Dallas’ first case of Ebola.

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Children from area schools were caught in the middle of a national health scare. Most of those students were in Dallas ISD schools.

Staff from two of the schools most affected were recognized today for how they wrapped their arms around their students.

Michelle Hart the school nurse at Conrad High School was one of those recognized. She recalls the time as worrisome. “Was there worry? Yes, of course. This was new, we hadn’t had ebola in the United States before.”

A student at her school became one of five Dallas children identified as having direct contact with the nation’s first Ebola infection victim.

Schools were scrubbed. Notices went home to parents. Hart said she and others worked to stop the spread of the virus.

“We went to every classroom, and remained in those classes, letting students and teachers ask questions.” Hart said. “We stayed as long as we needed, to alleviate any fears they may have because the fear of the unknown causes panic.”

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Wednesday, Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles recognzed counselors, janitors, teachers and others like Hart who stood firm with students.

Miles stated there was a general panic at the time, but we took care of the kids.

Tasby Middle School principal Anthony Mays also has one student among the 870 connected to Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan. His school dealt with the actions and attitudes of kids, when that student eventually returned to school.

Adults were most concerned about the exposed child being bullied. Bullying was not acceptable.

Hart called that time, fear of the unknown.

Ebola became an attached label for the two schools last fall, but today that label’s faded away.

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