Education Dept. Awards $48,000 to Help Vermont School Recover From a Teen Suicide

May 3, 2013 - 5:36 AM

classroom

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Education Department's Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded a Vermont school system $48,000 to "help with ongoing recovery efforts" following the suicide of a 16-year-old student.

The news release says the "popular teen" shot himself in his grandparents' yard last September. "Since the teen's death, there have been increased concerns over the mental health of not only students but of parents and staff as well," the Education Department said. "In addition, there has been an unprecedented increase in violent threats and behaviors by other students."

The nature of those threats was not described, but the Rutland (Vt.) Herald reported in January that several schools would be locked down because a person who had previously made nonspecific threats regarding school-age children might be returning to the area.

The grant recipient, the Windham Central Supervisory Union, is a regional education agency that serves ten towns in a geographically diverse area of southern Vermont, including Leland and Gray Middle and High School, which the suicidal teen attended.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young student,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We hope these resources will help the learning process continue and support the students, their schools and community as they recover.”

Through its Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) grants, the U.S. Department of Education funds short-term and long-term education-related services to help schools and universities "recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted."

Here are some of the other Project SERV grants awarded by the Education Department in the past year or so:

-- March 7, 2013: $35,000 to help Baltimore County's Perry Hall High School and community recover from a shooting on the first day of school in August.
-- February 14, 2013: $3 Million to Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and New York City to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
-- February 11, 2013: $50,000 to help Chicago Public Schools recover from 35 shootings over the past year at four high schools in the Greater Englewood community.
-- November 16, 2012: $50,000 to help Colorado's Aurora Public Schools recover from theater shooting.
-- July 6, 2012: $56,000 to Help Chardon, Ohio local schools recover from a shooting that killed three students and injured three others.
-- May 24, 2012: $800,000 to Help Joplin, Missouri schools recover from a deadly tornado in 2011.