Columbia High Principal Offers Support After Student Dies in Swimming Accident

by The Village Green
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From Columbia High School Principal Frank Sanchez:

To our Columbia High School community:

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the loss of Class of 2021 student, Omar Hutchinson, who tragically passed away on Friday, August 28th in a swimming accident. Our community stands with Omar’s family as they grieve this incomprehensible loss. At this time, the family asks for privacy to seek solace from each other, and they know the Columbia family of students, faculty, and staff are ready to support them when called upon.

The loss of a member of our community affects us all greatly, and we want to be mindful of how this news may impact our children. Some ways to help engage your child in discussing their feelings is to accept how they are feeling, listen to the information they are sharing with you, and answer their questions honestly, even if the answer is “I don’t know.”

We are fortunate in our district to have trained professionals on staff who are able to talk with students and help support them through difficult events like this. Columbia High School has a professional and supportive team made up of administration, student assistance counselors, social workers, and school counselors who are all available to help talk with your child.

During this time, our staff will be available to meet with students through the GoogleMeet platform. CHS Student Assistance Counselor Michael Loupis and Social Worker Laura Prato will be available to provide support for any students in need tomorrow (Weds. 9/2) at 1:00 pm at this Google Meet. Students are also encouraged to reach out to their CHS School Counselor for any additional support tomorrow and Thursday. The attached letter also has resources for students and community members to help them.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to administrators and/or the CHS Counseling Department with any concerns or requests. Once again, our deepest condolences and thoughts are with the Hutchinson family and with all from our community who are impacted by this tragic loss.

Frank Sanchez

Note: The letter from Mr. Sanchez originally stated that Omar Hutchinson was a member of the Class of 2020. Sanchez later sent a correction that Hutchinson was a member of the Class of 2021. Village Green will update the community with information on how to console or aid the family should that information become available.

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