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April 2014

19

Oconomowoc High School students mourn classmate

Students at Oconomowoc High School are grieving the loss of classmate Jacob Strautman.

"It is the wishes of the family that you are made aware that Jacob Strautman, a sophomore at Oconomowoc High School, passed away last night," wrote OHS Principal Joseph Moylan in a message sent home to school families Friday.

The cause of the student's death was not disclosed.

"Students in Jacob's classes were made aware of his death and were provided support through the teacher and student services staff. Today, student services staff from throughout the district were available in the Little Theater for any students who needed to talk to someone," he offered.

Moylan noted that with the end of the term and students not returning to school until Tuesday, Jan. 21, he wanted to work with parents to be alert to "any concerns or reactions that may arise with your student."

"It is important to remember that no matter how well or how little your student may have known Jacob, it is natural for them to have some kind of reaction. Students have varying reactions to situations such as this. We encourage you to pay close attention to any reaction your student may be having. Some typical reactions include anger, guilt, shock, extreme sadness and increased attachment to home or family.

"It is not uncommon for students to want to spend time with their friends and to grieve together. Please provide those opportunities for students, but please make sure that an adult is present with those students. Being there to communicate is the best way to help your student through this most difficult time," the message continued.

Families were encouraged to contact any of the Oconomowoc High School staff to discuss questions or concerns regarding their student's ability to deal with the sad event. Counselors will follow up with students when they return on Tuesday.

Moylan said as funeral arrangements become known, the school will communicate that information as well.

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