An email to parents of Crystal Lake High School students. It came as school was letting out on Friday.
Dear Crystal Lake Central Families,
As I am sure you are aware, one of our students passed away earlier this week, and again yesterday, Crystal Lake South lost a student.
Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends who are personally affected by these tragedies.
Please remember that our students express grief in many different ways, and we need to be sensitive to their feelings.
Upon learning about these losses, our crisis team met to implement supports and resources for our students, families, and staff.
We have professionals available within the building for any student who feels the need for support.
Our crisis team compiled a list of guidelines and supports for you to access when talking with your student about grief. Typical grief reactions in teenagers are:
- Discussion of the critical events becomes the primary means of processing grief.
- Teens may feel highly self-conscious about being different due to grief.
- Teens may have an exaggerated sense of their own role in regards to the death.
- Teens may fight their vulnerability in grief because it may cause them to feel more dependent on their family at a time when they are striving for independence.
- Teens are affected physically by the grieving process, especially in their sleeping and eating patterns.
While each person experiences crises differently, suicidal thoughts and feelings pose the highest risks to individuals in crisis. If you have immediate concerns about your student’s safety or if they are talking about hurting themselves, please contact the McHenry County Crisis Line at (800) 892-8900 (24 hour availability).
Ways to support your student:
- As adults, be honest in your own grieving and share in discussions with the teen when invited.
- Encourage peer support.
- Allow for defensive behavior in covering up their grief if it is basically harmless to themselves or others.
- Expect that a teen may reject his/her parents one moment and appear childlike and in need another. Tolerate the inconsistency while setting appropriate boundaries.
- Encourage relationships with other supportive adults.We have school counselors, social workers, a psychologist, and nurse available for you and your child. Please call us at (815) 459-2505 during school hours. Additionally, the following community resources are available to support your child and/or family: