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The Harvey County Independent
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Halstead, KS 67056

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Halstead Schools Grieving Loss Of Student

Posted 1/18/2018

HALSTEAD—Halstead High School brought in a group of extra counselors last week to help students and staff process their grief after a student attempted suicide off-campus last Wednesday morning, later dying from his injuries.

“Everyone deals with crises differently, but we have to provide these opportunities,” Halstead Superintendent Tom Alstrom said about the district’s response to the tragedy.

The student was a high school senior. The Independent is not releasing his name.

Alstrom said students, teachers and administrators had all been hit hard emotionally by the loss.

“It’s been a tough deal,” he said.

Seven counselors from surrounding towns like Newton, Sedgwick and Cheney were at both the high school and middle school throughout Wednesday. Four extra counselors came in on Thursday and two on Friday.

Alstrom explained that USD 440 belongs to a counselor’s network to provide support in situations like this. Along with Halstead’s own three counselors, these additional counselors met with students and staff to help them process their emotions.

The district informed parents of the tragedy using its alert system, telling them their student may be affected by it.

“We know how social media just goes crazy,” Alstrom said. “We wanted to get some information out there ahead of it.”

Alstrom said some students had gone home early last Wednesday, with the school making personal communication with these parents.