DACUSVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–A community is in mourning after the loss of two middle school students in the span of a week. Now the district is working to support the other students through their grief.
Pickens County School District spokesperson John Eby says Dacusville Middle School is a very tight knit community. With just more than 300 students the loss of two of their own has been difficult.
“It’s hard, it’s very personal for everybody and it hits home,” said Eby.
Eby says both 7th grader Kelsi Merck and 6th grader Kylee Woods were active at the school.
“Kelsi was an honor student, she was a cheerleader. Kylee was a member of the band. So they’re just deeply entwined with the school culture,” said Eby.
Kelsi was killed in a car accident this weekend, now a bouquet of flowers marks the tragedy. It was just last week that Kylee was killed in an accidental shooting.
“I think it had been about 15 years since a student had passed away there at that school and then you have two in one week,” said Eby.
Eby says the middle school is tight knit and with students this age grief can be difficult.
“They’re still struggling with some of the struggles of childhood and then they’re dealing with the struggles of young adulthood at the same time,” said Eby. “So you add a crisis like this into the middle of all that and it’s extremely hard.”
The district sent emails to parents after each incident.
“So we always want the news to be shared at home before the students come to school so they can be emotionally prepared for that,” said Eby.
Meanwhile at school, grief counselors are on hand and staff are working to support students as well.
“Nnobody knows exactly what to do but if you love students and you show it then they know it. And that’s the most important thing,” said Eby.
Both girls were active in the Dacusville Recreation Association. Members there are working to fund raise in support of the families.