EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSRiverside High School Dealing With Fourth Student Death
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Oct. 14, 2013 6:13 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 14, 2013 6:44 PM EDT
Belle , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Riverside High School students are dealing with unspeakable loss after losing four students in just a few months in tragic accidents. Dealing with these types of tragedies can be especially tough for teenagers.
Counselors say parents need to make sure they're offering support and advice, even is the child say they're doing okay.
Charlie Bolen wears many hats. He's a pastor, a baseball umpire, but his greatest and most challenging job is his role as a father.
"Death is a part of life. It's difficult when young people are exposed to it at such an early age but they need to be in some respects not shielded from it, but to know it's a reality and be ready for that," he says.
Bolen has two children at Riverside High School. He's seen first hang the devastation the students are going through after losing three students, and one recent graduate in just a matter of months.
"It's hard to see folks hurt, especially when it's repeatedly like it has been at Riverside," says Bolen.
Bolen believes that it's important for parents to know even though the students are offered counseling at school, the grieving process extends far beyond the classroom.
"The hardest thing is when the kids arrive to the classroom and see where Cody sat," says Riverside High School Principal Valery Harper.
Harper says Wednesday will not operate as a normal school day. The hallways will be filled with mourning students and teachers feeling wide ranges of emotions.
"We can't categorize and say this is ok to feel this way and not that way. Everything is normal and we just have to embrace that. Listen, and be there to support," she says.
Harper says some of the students will likely go through what's called "re-grief." That's when you mourn previous losses and experiences.
Students are being encouraged to give each other extra space. She also says that having patience with one another is key right now because not everyone grieves the same way.
"We're going to take it one step at a time," she says.
There will be a support team at the high school for the students when they return to school on Wednesday.
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