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Parental Advice on Dealing with School Bereavement

Parental Advice on Dealing with School Bereavement

11th September 2019

Dear Parent/Guardian

It is with great sadness that I am contacting you today. The school has experienced the death of Darren Connell. We are deeply saddened by this bereavement. Darren was a 6th year pupil in our school. Our thoughts are with the Connell family, Darren’s friends and all those affected by this.

We have support structures in place to help your child cope with this tragedy. Our tutor system; peer mentor system; school guidance counsellor; school psychotherapist and external psychological support from NEPS (National Educational Psychology Service) will all be available to support our school community through this difficult time.

It is possible that your child may have some feelings and questions s/he may like to discuss with you. It is important to give factual information that is age appropriate.

You can help your child by taking time to listen and by encouraging him/her to express feelings. All children are different and will express their feelings in different ways. It is not uncommon for children to have difficulty concentrating or be fearful, anxious, or irritable. They may become withdrawn, cry, complain of physical aches and pains, have difficulty sleeping or have nightmares. Some may not want to eat. These are generally short term reactions. Over the course of the coming days, please keep an eye on your child and allow him/her to express their feelings without criticism.

Although classes will continue as usual, I anticipate that the next few days will be difficult for everyone.

We will be providing parents with information which will be useful in helping their child through this difficult time.

Young people frequently turn to social media to see what others are saying, or to find out more. At these times it is important that you monitor their use and engage with them about what they read. We urge you to emphasise and reinforce the need to be extremely sensitive and careful about what they post.

If you would like advice you may contact the following people at the school on 049-8541180 (Tutor; Yearhead; School Counsellor; Deputy Principal or Principal).

Yours sincerely

Brendan Corcoran 

Principal