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This should never, ever happen.
Old 09-06-2015, 08:47 PM
 
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I'm staying signed out out of respect for those who are involved in the event that someone from my school finds this.

Friday night, we lost a senior to a car accident. Today, we lost a recent graduate to a different and also very tragic circumstance, and this student still has family members that attend the school.

My heart is breaking for my students. I feel like I should get my emotions out of my system before then so I can be there for my kids. I have never experienced the death of a student and I don't know how to help them when we return after the weekend.

I just can't stop asking why.


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Prayers...
Old 09-06-2015, 09:25 PM
 
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I am so sorry! Our school has experienced the death of a student involved in a car accident. It is actually his birthday today, and it has been touching to see the number of FB posts and tweets still honoring him. (His accident was 8 years ago.) The best way to help your students is to just be there for them. Let them cry, reminisce, or give them a hug if needed. Prayers for the famiy of those you lost and everyone involved with your school as you grieve together.
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So sorry:(
Old 09-06-2015, 10:30 PM
 
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I lost a former student once....it was elementary school...they counseled teachers who had her. They did class/group sessions w her grade...students wrote her letters that decorated the hall at her funeral... I was in shock for awhile.. I think teachers gathered some photos for her families slideshow...
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So sorry
Old 09-07-2015, 01:30 AM
 
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It is horrible when young people die so suddenly. A neighboring town lost a student to a car accident Friday night. Two other girls were injured. They were on their way to a football game. All were cheerleaders. The driver of the other car, a father and grandfather, also died. Not only that community, but the entire area is in mourning.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Kathy

Last edited by spedder1; 09-07-2015 at 04:56 AM.. Reason: spelling error and add information
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My School District
Old 09-07-2015, 03:37 AM
 
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In my school district, when there is the loss of a student, that particular school gets all the guidance counselors in the district at that building for several days. They speak/work/counsel students one-on-one, in small groups, whole classes, and staff/parents.

With very large buildings like the high school, counselors from other districts and community counselors not working for the school district join the district's counselors to cover the large population.

One of our counselors is put in charge by the district and meets with all the others. They plan responsibilities...an agenda for specific age groups, etc. It becomes a community responsibility.


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Old 09-07-2015, 05:44 AM
 
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I've found out about some former students who have died. I only find out a few years after the fact. It's still sad and I allow myself to grieve for them even if time has passed since.
I'm sorry to hear of your school's losses. It's never easy.
I can't even imagine dying at such a young age.
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My thoughts are with you and your colleagues
Old 09-07-2015, 07:18 AM
 
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It is soooo hard to lose a student this way . . .
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thoughts and prayers are with you all
Old 09-07-2015, 07:50 AM
 
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In my district where I teach we practice the same procedures as Connie WI stated. In the district where I live and where my daughter went to school, there was a time where for 4 years in a row they lost a senior in high school right before the end of the school year. . .drowning in the lake, car accident, driving off the cliff etc, hiking, off-roading. . .The community and churches all pitch in to help the families.
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I'm so sorry.
Old 09-07-2015, 09:45 AM
 
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Please accept my deepest sympathies to you, your school community, and your town. This is just heartbreaking.

Having had to deal with the death of a student more than once in my teaching career, here are a few observations.

If the district offers counseling for the students, please encourage them to take part. The counselors know how to help them work through their feelings.

Listen to your students. They need to voice their feelings, share their memories, and be there for each other. Give them a safe place to do that.

Encourage your students to take action. They might want to raise money for a scholarship in memory of these students, or contribute to funeral/medical expenses. They may want to set up a schedule of checking on the families involved, or design a message to be placed in the yearbook. Being able to DO SOMETHING sometimes helps.

There's a fine line between taking time to address these losses and keeping business-as-usual happening in your class. Many students will want to keep their feelings to themselves and will prefer to carry on with their classes--the routine is a comfort. Have some low-stress academic activities for them to work on. That said, the next few days wouldn't be the perfect time for anything high-stakes.

Let them know you love them, and that you, like them, are devastated by these losses.
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:53 AM
 
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I am so sorry. One of my friends was killed on the way to a band show that we were twirling in during high school. The driver, another friend of mine, was seriously injured. Our marching band found out right after the performance in the band room. I will never, ever forget that experience. I was in shock, I remember others crying, the band director was crying......parents were coming into the room and hugging their kids. It was all very raw and very real. That is all it can be because it is such a painful and traumatic experience to lose a young person in such terrible circumstances. I do remember, our band director cancelled practice the following Monday and we talked. We talked about the girls and how much they meant to us. We made cards for my friend in the hospital and also for the family who lost their daughter. Band practice resumed the next day. This moment is part of my life.......it happened 30 years ago and if I stop and think about the loss it is still difficult. Be there for your students and understand that is all you can really do.....everyone will experience grief differently and this experience will become a part of them and you.


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Old 09-08-2015, 10:17 AM
 
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We lost a student over the summer while I was teaching summer school in a drowning accident. The cousin of this student was in my class.

I sat the students down, told them the truth about what happened (I have 2nd graders). I asked if there were any questions, answered them as best and as honest as I knew. For the really tough questions (i.e. "where did she go?") I told them that the best person to ask that question is mom and dad because lots of people believe different things.

I told them it was ok to be sad. I told them if they needed a hug or someone to talk to, I would be available or the school psychologist would.

They had a lot of questions at first but it blew over before long.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:14 AM
 
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Losing a student whether to accident, suicide or illness always brings the painful question...why? The loss of their future and the joy they brought to our lives stings. We are left with little to do other than support their families, not just now but reaching out as the years pass. Continue to send cards when thoughts of their child come to you. Remembering their child is the greatest gift you can give.
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