A Hamilton County high school is mourning the loss of two of their students this week.
Soddy Daisy High School administrators alerted families in a message Thursday and Friday, counselors and support staff are available to students.
“All students are different. Our teenagers prefer often to talk to one another about cases,” said Patricia Russell, Hamilton County Schools' Director of Social and Emotional Learning and K-12 Counseling.
The news out of Soddy Daisy High School has a community praying and grieving the loss of two beloved students.
An obituary confirms 17-year-old Krista Thurman passed away unexpectedly Thursday. She was active in JROTC, enjoyed hanging out with friends, and playing video games.
The other student has not been named.
Soddy Daisy High School’s message to families says:
"It is with great sadness that I am calling this evening to share with you that two of our precious students, passed away in recent days. They were a special part of our school family and we will miss them very much. I wanted to make you aware of this news and let you know counselors and administrators are available to support our students. Our counseling team will continue to be available throughout the school year if your child or children need to talk with someone. Please keep these families and our school community in your thoughts and prayers as we go through this most difficult journey."
Hamilton County Schools Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Patricia Russell, says counseling isn’t something that is always popular among the teenage crowd, and that’s why it’s so important for teachers and leaders to build relationships with students, so they feel comfortable coming to them in difficult situations.
“They may have questions, but often it’s they just want to talk through their feelings and their emotions and sometimes it’s not always to gain an understanding, it’s just to release sometimes," Russell told us.
Often times, Russell says students ask for ways to manage their emotions, and that’s it’s important for teachers to be prepared to help students navigate these challenges.
“If it’s taking a deep breath or if it’s going to talk to someone, as we mentioned, talking to a counselor, if it’s writing some things down,” Russell said.
There is a team of counselors available in Hamilton County Schools to help students and teachers struggling with this news.
All schools have dedicated counselors.
Russell says relationships are key part in eventually moving forward from tragedy.