During a bus ride to school on Tuesday morning, a group of middle school students spotted something that truly horrified the children. It was a dead boy hanging from a tree.
Police soon confirmed the crime scene that the children onboard School Bus 52 had witnessed. According to Kari Thompson, the spokeswoman for the Kansas Police Department, the victim had committed suicide in the block of Wallace.
Meanwhile, Raytown Middle School proceeded to notify parents immediately that their child had seen a suicide victim earlier in the day. According to one parent, Shalonda Willis-Howard, she received a call from a school official saying that her son had seen a dead body. It seems, however, that the school did not offer any more specifics about the incident to the parents. “They never said my child seen a hanging dead body!!!!” Willis-Howard remarked on Facebook.
School never detailed what the children saw in the horrific suicide scene.
Nonetheless, the school also sent out a letter to the parents of the affected children. “I am very concerned about what students may have seen and heard,” school principal, Dr. Georgetta May, wrote. Moreover, the school suggested several ways they can help assist the children in the coming days. Among them is to “be a presence” at the bus stop or to ask a trusted adult to be around.
On the other hand, the school is also encouraging parents to watch out for any signs of post traumatic behaviors. “Children react differently to trauma than adults,” the letter stated. These include trouble sleeping, irrational fears, becoming irritable, loss of appetite, stomach pain, aching muscles and being unable to label their feelings or emotions.
“You know your child best, and you know how he or she reacts to things regularly,” the letter said. “Vigilance about changes in your child’s normal behavior is the best measuring stick for your level of concern.”
According to a report from The Kansas City Star, the same letter was eventually sent to all the families in Raytown Middle School.