Counselors have been made available for students and staff members after an eight-year-old student died after a brief illness this past weekend. USD 501 spokeswoman Misty Kruger said the district does not know the cause of the second grader’s death but said it was an uncommon medical situation.
Kruger said officials are waiting to hear about funeral service arraignments and will encourage donations to cover funeral expenses.
Below is the letter to parents from State Street Principal LaManda Boyles:
Dear State Street Parents and Guardians,
It is with great sadness that I share a State Street second grade student, Stephen Wilson Jr., passed away due to a medical matter. Please keep Stephen’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
This week, members of our Mental Health Team will be available to support State Street students and staff and additional supports and staff are being provided to the Stephen’s classroom and to the second grade team. Students will be read the following statement Tuesday morning in their classrooms.
“Friends, I have sad news, our classmate and friend, Stephen Wilson Jr., became very sick this weekend and was taken to the hospital. Stephen was very sick and doctors worked very hard to make him feel better, but he passed away this weekend. We will miss him. We want you to know that we are here to support all of you. If you would like to speak with our counselor, Ms. VanAmburg, please ask me and I will make those arrangements for you. We will keep Stephen’s family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. If you would like to make a card for Stephen’s family, Mrs. Broyles will collect the cards and will deliver them to Stephen’s family. We want you to know that we are here to support Stephen’s family and you.”
Parents, please monitor your child at home and focus on his or her needs and emotions. If you feel your child needs additional support please contact me at (785) 235-7280. If you would like additional resources in talking to your child about death, please let us know and we can provide more information.
La Manda Broyles
State Street Elementary School Principal
There has been a GoFundMe set up to help pay for Stephen’s funeral costs. You can find that here.