Pupils get help to cope with tragedy
on 05/09/2012 00:00:00
Principal Carmel Walmsley said the board, staff, and pupils were deeply saddened at his death.
"Anthony was a lovely boy, kind and friendly, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him," she said.
"Our sympathy and thoughts are with Anthony's family and friends."
Staff of the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) have been supporting the 160-pupil school after being brought in when news of the tragedy broke on Monday morning.
All schools have a critical incident management policy to deal with situations like this, and, in particular, how to handle such terrible news with children.
"The school will be advised by the psychologist and other agencies and will offer parents and pupils as much support as we can," Ms Walmsley said in a statement issued to the media.
The school has about 160 boys and girls on the roll book.
It is just a few kilometresfrom Anthony's home at Harrison Place in Charleville, where he was found just as classes had started on Monday morning.
The HSE South said it and other agencies were providing appropriate support, assistance, and counselling to those affected by tine incident.
It is referring people to the 24-hour freephone helpline of bereavement support group Console - 1800 201 890 - which is a confidential listening service that can also refer callers to local counselling or other supports.
In any cases of a traumatic event that can adversely affect pupils, the NEPS provides guidelines and materials for schools to deal with the situation.
Teachers and principals are given practical step-by-step guidelines, aimed at helping them to offer supports to the wider school community at a potentially overwhelming time.
Where a school invites them in, NEPS psychologists can offer direct advice and assistance to staff and directly to pupils.
The Department of Education says that about 100 requests for such support are made by schools each year to help deal with a range of traumatic events, including the death of a student.
"At the request of schools, NEPS will work to help teachers and pupils to deal with what has happened, taking into account the circumstances of each individual incident," said a spokesperson.
"The educational psychologists work closely with the teachers involved as the teachers are the professionals who best know the children and can assist them to cope with what has happened."