AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Independent School District student “died suddenly” over the weekend, according to a letter from the principal of Bailey Middle School.
Principal John Rocha alerted families to the child’s death, writing additional counselors will be on campus to provide support to students who may have questions about what happened.
He did not say how the student died. Austin ISD told KXAN it won’t be releasing the name of the student for privacy reasons.
We are saddened to share that one of our students died suddenly this weekend. We are unable to share additional information at this time, however, we wanted to let you know since your child may ask questions or need support.Bailey Middle School Principal John Rocha
Rocha said if students are in need of counseling this week, parents can call the front office at (512) 414-4990. He advised parents if kids want to speak out about what happened, then take the time to listen and discuss with them.
“It is important for our children to have their feelings acknowledged and to help them understand that it is okay to feel sad or cry,” the letter read. “It is also normal if they do not feel anything right away. It can take a while—sometimes days or weeks—for children to show their feelings, and that is normal.”
The school offered up some responses parents can use when speaking with their children, who may be upset about the situation:
- “I can see that you are hurting.”
- “It’s very hard to accept the death of someone you know well.”
- “I know…it just seems unbelievable.”
- “It hurts, doesn’t it?”
- “It is especially hard when there are many unanswered questions.”
The letter also listed out some mental health resources, if parents want to seek additional help for their child:
- Austin ISD School Mental Health Centers
- For the Love of Christi: Free information and various support groups for youth and adults for grief and loss
- Austin-Travis County Integral Care: Open 24 hours for mental health crises or to schedule appointments.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255