Tonasket Middle School copes with student’s death

TONASKET – Tonasket School District’s students and staff members struggled late last week to come to terms with the death of a Tonasket Middle School student who passed away Wednesday evening, Nov. 2.

The apparent suicide hit the school community hard, said district superintendent Paul Turner.

“The sadness of this loss was felt throughout the school community,” Turner said in a statement. “Many pastors and counselors were in attendance on (Thursday, Nov. 3) to help students and staff members deal with this tragedy, which was greatly appreciated.”

Aaron Bevier, Director of Student Ministries at Tonasket Free Methodist Church, was one of about a dozen that assisted with counseling efforts.

“Just being present for (the students) if they wanted to talk, asking them how they were doing, makes a huge difference,” Bevier said. “We really wanted to encourage them that there is never a dark day or a difficult circumstance that necessitates something like this. Sometimes a kid may think their life doesn’t matter, but if they looked around the library (where students gathered Thursday), they could see how much one life means.”

“We would like to thank the community for your thoughts, prayers and support during this time, especially the family,” Turner said. “We all need to remind ourselves how precious our children are and be diligent in watching over their well-being.”

About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

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