February 6, 2014
Dear Newton Community,
It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you that a Newton South junior, Roee Grutman died unexpectedly this morning. Authorities have stated that the death is not suspicious and there is no foul play.
Our thoughts are with Roee’s family during this very difficult time. They also have children at Memorial-Spaulding and Oak Hill and it is hard to imagine what they are going through right now.
The death of any young person is a terrible tragedy. The shock of this loss is magnified by the deaths of two Newton students last fall. Please know that we will have counselors available at our secondary schools, as we know that many of our students will have heard about this news through friends and social media. If you have any concerns about your child/children, please make contact with their guidance counselor, social worker or school psychologist and they will be sure to follow up. Processing three student deaths within a school year is very difficult to comprehend so we have provided some information below that you may find useful.
Next Tuesday, February 11th, we have scheduled a community forum in the Newton South Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. to help process the tragedies we have faced this school year. We will have a range of experts who will join us to share important information about how to talk with your child/children about a sudden death and how to support your child/children and yourself following tragic events. The Mayor and other city and school leaders will join me at this forum.
I fully recognize that this is a very trying time for the City of Newton. I am hopeful that together, we will provide the support, care and kindness necessary to move forward. Please let any Newton Public Schools’ staff member know if we can be of help to you and your family.
Superintendent of Schools
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also provides guidance on how adults can help children after a traumatic event at this website: http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA12-4732/SMA12-4732.pdf
Dr. Robert Evans, Psychologist and School Consultant, offers five guidelines that can make a positive difference for children after tragic events. Visit this link for more information: http://www3.newton.k12.ma.us/sites/default/files/users/176/helpingchildrencopewithtragicloss.pdf
Riverside Mobile Crisis Intervention (781-769-8674) can also be called if you have concerns about the safety of your child.