Carbondale school deals with student death
November 8, 2016
Carbondale Middle School students, teachers and staff were rocked with the news Monday that an eighth-grader had died over the weekend.
"We shared this news with CMS students and families earlier today, but we want to communicate with all families because we know that we are a small community where tragedy touches everyone," Roaring Fork Schools Superintendent Rob Stein said in a letter sent to parents Monday evening.
Garfield County Coroner Rob Glassmire confirmed late Monday that a 13-year-old male was found hanging and unresponsive by Garfield County Sheriff's deputies Sunday evening in the rural Glenwood Springs area after he had been reported missing.
"Deputies initiated CPR and Glenwood Springs Fire responded and determined that he was dead," Glassmire said, adding it's too early to determine the manner of death and that the case remains under investigation.
Added Stein in his letter to parents, "We want you to be aware of how we are supporting students, as well as how you can help support your own children through this difficult situation."
Counselors and more than a dozen mental health professionals from other schools and community organizations were on hand Monday and will be throughout the week to help students and staff deal with the loss, he said. Counselors also suggest various steps to help students go through the grieving process at home.
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"Over the next few days, we will continue to be vigilant at school, and we hope that you will encourage your child to express his or her feelings and listen attentively," Stein said.
He said CMS students were invited to express their feelings by writing letters to the family, and are being asked not to discuss the situation through social media.
The family has asked for privacy, he said, but letters of support can be given to CMS staff to deliver to the family.
The school district also issued a reminder that school counselors are always available to talk with students who are having difficulties, and that Mind Springs Health maintains a 24-hour crisis line at 888-207-4004.