Counselors met with students at Linden Elementary School this morning, and a parent-teacher organization is forming a fund to accept donations to help the family of a third-grader who died Tuesday, an official said.
Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers said there were five counselors from elementary and middle schools, and the school psychologist who serves Linden, at the west-end elementary school this morning.
“They have met with students who appeared upset or anxious,” Borchers said in a Wednesday afternoon e-mail. “I will tell you, though, it has been remarkably calm in my opinion.”
The boy was found unresponsive on a school bus on Wilberforce Avenue at about 4:10 p.m. Tuesday. An ambulance took him to Methodist Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The boy has not been identified, and the cause of his death has not been determined.
Borchers said Linden school counselors met with the boy’s classmates early this morning.
“The focus of the meeting was to let them know what facts we have: that the boy died, the firemen and paramedics did everything they could to help him, and that Mr. Ward (Linden principal) would communicate to their parents when they had information about a service or funeral,” Borchers said.
The school staff also went to each of the other third-grade classes to check on those students, he said in a media statement.
Borchers said the school’s parent-teacher organization is forming a fund for donations to help the family with expenses. They will also bring food to the boy’s home.
A staff member will ride the bus this afternoon to show support for the students, the superintendent said.
“We do have employee assistance available through our health insurance for staff that may need counseling,” Borchers said.
He said the school system’s central office staff and school board chairman Keys Fillauer were present this morning at Linden to offer support for staff and students.