Support offered to SMS students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2014

Straughn Middle School students faced tragedy yesterday when they learned of the suicide death of one of their classmates.

Covington County Schools Superintendent Shannon Driver said Wednesday that SMS Principal Cassandra Scott and her staff and teachers prepared to help students by having several staff counselors and volunteer counselors on hand.

“We set up an area, and encouraged the kids to go and meet and talk to a counselor,” he said. “They (the counselors) listened and comforted students and provided whatever resources were necessary.”

More than half of the middle school students took advantage of the services on Wednesday, he said.

Driver said the resources will be available to students as long as needed.

“We have kind, compassionate people, who have provided some comfort,” he said. “Our teachers gave students some time in class to talk about it among themselves.”

Driver commended the staff and volunteers.

“Our counselors did an outstanding job,” he said. “So did our teachers and administrators.”

Driver described the event as traumatic for all involved.

“I am very pleased with all they were able to do,” he said. “It’s an unusual circumstance, and is very tragic. There were a lot of tears shed, and we are also sad for the family. We are going to continue to do what we can at school.”