WARREN, Ohio - The Warren City School District's administrative team met Sunday evening with representatives of Valley Counseling to decide on a plan for Monday on how to best help and support other students and staff as they begin the process of coping with the loss of six fellow students in a tragic accident on Sunday morning.
Monday's news briefing was very emotional, especially for Superintendent Michael Notar and Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, who had spent much of the past 24 hours at the hospital and with the victim's families.
"It's been a difficult day today. It'll be a difficult rest of the week and school year," Notar said.
The superintendent says there was discussion about cancelling classes on Monday, but the team felt that would only isolate the students.
"I think in times like these they reach out to teachers and other students that they feel comfortable being around, so we just want to keep our doors open for our students and provide that support that they may not get if we closed school and leave them at home," Notar said.
Professional counselors were available at the schools for students and staff.
Ed Bolino of Valley Counseling says it's often best for students to have someone to talk to. "If you get people to express their feelings and how they're feeling after the incident, that does cut down on the incidence of post traumatic stress disorder that could develop later," Bolino said.
And he says even a tragedy can be a teaching moment for young people. "For kids this age they can feel pretty invincible in the sense of life and something like this really takes them to reality," Bolino said.
The superintendent says they will evaluate the results of Monday's efforts and decide what additional support may be needed.