Students Trying to Deal with Grief Relating to Teacher’s Murder in the Community Illustrates Situations School Officials Must Address

When sixth-grade teacher Tonawanda Thompson was shot and killed at her home in Connersville, Indiana, the violence had an impact at Fayette Central Elementary School even though the incident did not involve an act of school violence.  District grief counselors met with students from the school Tuesday morning after their teacher Tonawanda Thompson was shot and killed outside of her Richmond home.

Officers from the Richmond Police Department are investigating the tragic murder of the pregnant teacher while school officials try to help students and her colleagues deal with the pain of losing a valued member of the school community.  School officials often have to work to address acts of violence, accidents and other situations resulting in the deaths of students and staff away from school.  While such efforts are virtually unknown in many other countries where mental health services are rarely and sometimes never offered to students not only for these types of situations but even situations that occur on campus such as the terrorist attack on a school in Beslan, Russia which left hundreds of staff and students dead.

Mental health recovery efforts such as these are often well thought out and impressive in American schools.


About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.