Valley Head faculty console students after 4th death in 4 months - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Valley Head faculty console students after 4th death in 4 months

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The latest incident came just four months after three other children at the school died in a Louisiana house fire over Christmas break. The latest incident came just four months after three other children at the school died in a Louisiana house fire over Christmas break.
VALLEY HEAD, AL (WAFF) -

Valley Head School counselors and teachers again had to console elementary students after learning 7-year-old JayParker Darwin had died. The first grader died Tuesday night after an extended illness. Counselors met with the nearly thirty other first graders.

"We told them exactly what had happened, and we were just very honest with them," said Amanda Lea, a counselor at Valley Head. "We encouraged that we were there for them."

The latest incident came just four months after three other children at the school died in a Louisiana house fire over Christmas break. School officials believe you have to reach back to 2005 to find a death at the school, when a student died in a car wreck, so four children in four months is a lot for a small school to handle.

"We just reassured them that this was an unusual thing, and that they were going to be okay, because we don't want them to fear anything happening to themselves," said Lea.

Students will go home Thursday with papers to let parents know what to watch for if their child is having problems coping with the tragedy.

"Just watching for those signs of excessive shut down or excessive crying, anger, lashing out at others," said Lea.

The funeral for JayParker Darwin will be held at the Kerby Funeral Home in Henagar. Visitation will be on Friday April 18 at the funeral home from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Services will immediately follow at 2 p.m.

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