We recently received permission from Patrick's mother to post the following:
It is with a very heavy heart that I need to pass along some very sad news. One of our WCMS 8th grade students was in an accident Saturday night and passed away early Sunday morning. Patrick Barkey (nickname "Patchy") was on team 8-4 Akela, loved to play baseball and had many friends and family. He will be deeply missed at WCMS.
Grief counselors from the Clermont County Crisis Team and Child Focus will be in the media center all day for students and staff who need them. Our hearts are broken and we are sending lots of love and positive energy to Patrick's family and friends - we are one wolf pack and stand together.
The following is advice to us from the American School Counselors Association:
Following the death of a student, those left behind grieve in a variety of ways. Normal grief is generally characterized by progression from an initial state of shock and denial, to one of rage and anger, to one of disorganization and despair, and finally to a state of acceptance and hope.
Let students know these feelings are normal. Reassure them that they are not responsible for what happened. Encourage the students to be supportive of one another. Reassure them that the adults in the building are available to help. Also, encourage the students to discuss their feelings with their parents.
The most important thing we can do is to allow some opportunity for students to express feelings related to the death. Help them through the grief process by acknowledging the pain and grief they are experiencing, by being a good, active listener, and by reassuring them that their feelings are normal and expected.
Here are some resources for mental health and counseling in the area.
Child Focus, Inc. 752-1555
Fernside Grief Center 246-9140
Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health 947-7000