Help Available for New Town Students | VideoEvan Kruegel | 11/19/2012
The halls at the New Town Middle School were empty this morning, as administrators tried to deal with the loss of three students.
"This is a new situation. We`ve never had this type of situation. We`ve had tragedies within our school system but not of this magnitude, and we`re going to do the best we can with it and hopefully provide as much support as possible," said superintendent Marc Bluestone.
Bluestone made the decision to cancel classes late last night, before law enforcement officials could definitively tell him there was no longer a threat to his students. The eldest child who was killed, Benjamin Schuster, 13, attended the middle school. His younger sister and brother attended the elementary school.
"I felt that this was the best call to not have school today as we try to gather information so that we can move forward in spite of what has occurred based on this tragedy," Bluestone said.
School will open tomorrow, but not without some outside help. The district will be bringing in clergy and counselors to help students deal with the traumatic event.
"We`re going to have grief counselors along with other counselors, we`ll have clergy coming in. We`re just going to try and deal with it. It did affect our middle school, and it impacted a couple of the classrooms at the elementary school, so we know we`re going to have to provide some support for both staff and children," Bluestone said.
It will be a long time before the community can recover from the tragedy, but for Bluestone, getting back to regular life is the quickest way to move forward.
The Three Affiliated Tribes Tribal Council released a written statement this afternoon saying:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have suffered such a tragic and terrible loss. Local law enforcement and federal authorities are utilizing all resources available to respond to this incident."