The past few months have presented several tragedies that have deeply affected the East St. Louis School District and community. We have experienced the loss of several student deaths during this time. Individually, each of these losses fills our community with sorrow. Combined, along with other losses of staff, students and former students in the past year, make a deeply profound impact.
The District Crisis Team has been activated in the days immediately following these tragedies to offer support to both students and staff. School social workers, counselors and psychologists are also available on an on-going basis to support students as the need arises. Our community partners, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Center as well as Hoyleton Youth and Family Services, provide customized, on-site emotional supports and care.
Students are welcome to take advantage of these resources. But students may choose to seek an adult with whom they have an existing relationship with to confide in and express their feelings. Teachers are often the supportive, trusting adults our students turn to. Trained support staff, like school social workers, are also available to students and families.
Youth react in different ways to tragedies. Adult caretakers, parents and teachers should expect, try to understand, and accept a variety of emotions and behaviors. The most important thing we can do is to be supportive, encourage discussions, and be good listeners.
If you or your student needs additional support, please seek the school social worker at your school for more resources.
School District 189 extends our sincere sympathy, concern, and prayers with the families of those we have lost.