Tragic loss of students
I write this letter with the heaviest of hearts.
Most of you by now have heard of the tragedy Tuesday, July 28, 2020, involving an Elyria family on Willowpark Road. Three young siblings, all Elyria Schools students, and their mother were killed in an apparent murder-suicide in which their father is the primary suspect.
The student’s names are Gavin Nelson, 12, Brianna Nelson, 10, and Liam Nelson, 6.
These three siblings were deeply loved by their teachers, principals, fellow students, neighbors, friends and family. The people who love them could speak for hours at length at the irreplaceable goodness these young people brought to our school buildings. And there are truly no words adequate enough to describe the pain that arises from a tragedy of this immensity.
It is unfathomable, to be sure, and it elicits emotions that are painful, raw and difficult to comprehend. In such moments, it is incumbent on parents, teachers and community members to recognize the critical role they play in supporting children—and other adults, in fact—who will without a doubt struggle to process this tragedy.
It is impossible to conceive of how such incidents can occur. But ultimately, we are left with the sobering responsibility of providing guidance and care to our students, particularly as they are confronted with news of this magnitude.
In the days and weeks ahead, I encourage you to reach out to those around you for support and seek additional mental health treatment if needed.
You can rely on Elyria Schools for help, too, as we have professional mental health providers available to you and your children. These are Elyria Schools counselors and social workers who are well-trained and well-equipped to help you process feelings and develop coping strategies in these troubling periods.
Counselors and social workers will be at Elyria High School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, at the Performing Arts Center lobby. You do not need to schedule an appointment—you can simply show up and meet with one of our professionals.
It is of paramount importance to recognize the need for support, unity and empathy at this time.
Let your children know they are loved and safe. There are sometimes things that cannot be fully explained or rationalized, so it’s important to be considerate of your child’s exposure to news and troubling information. Consider limiting news intake in this environment.
I would simply remind you once again that we at Elyria Schools are here for you, and we are reachable at all times. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please treat each other with respect, kindness, dignity and compassion.