The Emporia School District is offering grief support to the school community following the death of a 10th grader on Thursday.
Allison Hess, daughter of Emporia’s Kari and Eric Hess, died on Thursday. The circumstances of her death have not been disclosed.
Lyndel Landgren, community affairs manager at US$253, said the district is sending condolences to the family.
“Earlier this evening we were notified that Emporia High School has suffered the death of a current student, 10th grader Allison Hess,” Landgren said. “Our deepest condolences go out to the Hess family at this difficult time. In schools, we have implemented a plan to respond to this tragic event that is focused on helping our students and staff.”
Landgren said counselors will be available at the high school from 8am to 3pm on Fridays and throughout the next week.
The district also canceled basketball games on Fridays. Landgren said senior recognition activities for student-athletes in basketball, band, dance and cheer would be rescheduled to a later date.
Landgren said the district understands there will be a variety of emotions and responses to what happened and encouraged the community to be sympathetic and open about their feelings.
“In schools, we have implemented a plan to respond to this tragic event focused on helping our students and their families do their best to continue regular learning and planned activities as soon as possible,” the district said in an e-mail to patrons. “This plan evolved from the district’s experience with death in the past and advice from community mental health professionals.
“Our teachers and counselors have been briefed on our plans and given guidelines for discussing the death and related reactions. There will be additional support staff available for students who need special attention. We will try to maintain a routine and a normal structure. provided that the situation allows it”.
Students and families in need of assistance should contact the school district. Counselors will be available 8am-3pm Friday at EHS and into next week if needed at EMS and EHS.
If you or someone you know needs immediate mental health care, call Crosswinds (afterhours) at 620-343-2626 or (during normal business hours) 620-343-2211.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline is available in English and Spanish.