After assessing the damage in the schools within Holmes County Consolidated School District following storms in 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said the district would be better off building  new buildings. On Nov. 5, voters were asked to OK an $18.4 million bond issue that would enable the district to do that. The results are not yet final. Photographs by photojournalist Eric J. Shelton show the damage at the several schools in the district.

Eric J. Shelton was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our health photojournalist in January 2022.