CHAT helps students cope

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Members of the Selma City Schools’ Crisis Team were at CHAT Academy Monday as students returned to school after a hunting accident claimed one of their classmates over the holiday break.

Harry Reese Jr., a 12-year-old in eighth grade, was killed Thursday evening when he accidentally shot himself with a .30-.30 caliber rifle while in a tree stand overlooking an empty field on County Road 74. He had been hunting deer with his uncle and a family friend.

“We had people there today trained to handle certain tragedies,” school superintendent Dr. James Carter said. “Our hearts go out to the family, friends, teachers and classmates.”

Email newsletter signup

Students returned to classes on Monday after the holiday break.

Carter said things went relatively quietly at the school.

“The report I got said everything was going as well as could be expected under the circumstances,” Carter said.

The 9-member team is made of local counselors but Carter said if needed they can go outside the system for help.

“Anytime there is a death of a family member, teacher or a classmate, we have them on standby ready to go,” Carter said. “If we need help, they can certainly call outside counselors.”

The Crisis Team was put together 7 or 8 years ago, according to Carter, to help respond to growing incidents of violence that are reaching schools.

“With the violence that occurs throughout the country, we felt like we needed more than just teachers,” Carter said. “They grieve, too. Principals and teachers don’t have to do the counseling.”

Carter said the school will have a memorial service for Reese at the school some time this week.