The school community is rallying around students at the Jockey Hollow Middle School in Connecticut following the apparent suicide of an eighth-grader.
On Friday, May 10, an eighth-grader reportedly died at home, committing suicide, Jockey Hollow principal school principal Jack Ceccolini wrote in a letter to parents over the weekend. The students were informed of the incident on Monday morning, May 13 during an extended homeroom.
In response, Ceccolini said that while “this will be a difficult time for the entire Monroe community, but especially for the students of Jockey Hollow,” there will be counselors made available throughout the district and the area for students, staff, or whoever needs support.
Schools Superintendent Jack Zamary sent a letter of his own to the community, noting that “this loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school, especially our students.”
A “Crisis Intervention Team” of professionals trained to help the needs of students, parents and school personnel” has been made available this week. The district also posted a “Resources for Students in Crisis” link on their website.
The tips for helping students cope with “crisis” includes:
- Acknowledge and normalize their feelings. Encourage them to talk but respect their right not to.
- Provide healthy alternative ways for them to express themselves (writing in a journal, drawing, playing music, etc).
- Remind them that everyone has a right to grieve and a right to grieve in their own way.
- Help them understand that people show their emotions differently.
- Try to maintain a normal routine.
- Listen and observe. Share your concerns with appropriate support personnel
- Spend family time together
- Emphasize people’s resiliency. Help identify ways they have coped in the past.
- Help your child get plenty of sleep, eat regular meals and exercise
- Remain calm, reassuring
- Openly express your affection to your child
- Do not neglect your own needs.
- Talk to other adults, support personnel, or someone from a place of worship.
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