Watch CBSN Live

Students Find Lessons In Tragedy

At Covenant Christian High School Tuesday there were more tears than opened text books. Reality had provided a lesson not found in any book.

Nineteen students and chaperones from Covenant were on the derailed Amtrak train City Of New Orleans, heading home after a ski trip in Quebec, Canada, CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts reports.

Gregg Staten, whose son, Michael, was among those on the train, was relieved to hear her son escaped without injury.

"He's so far away," Staten said. "I just want to touch him. I can't wait to see him."

Karen Freeman's 17-year-old son, Michael, was credited with rescuing many of the survivors.

"I said before, God's in control," Freeman said. "We don't want to bury our children. I pray I never have to, but I thought about it."

One student was seriously injured. She broke her back and remains in a Chicago-area hospital. Most of her classmates will return to Mississippi in the next day or two.

"I can't tell you how thankful I am," Staten said. "He's coming home. Those people who died had someone just like me waiting for them, and they're not coming back."

Covenant's principal, Mary Kenyon, summed up the emotions of the parents and students by saying the crash has provided a serious lesson.

"You don't know what's going to happen in the next minute, but if you trust in God, no matter what happens in that minute, it will be OK."