Northampton High School offers sympathy, support in wake of student’s death

  • Northampton High School  GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

By GRETA JOCHEM
Published: 1/31/2020 4:56:29 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton High School officials announced Thursday that one of its students has died.

“On behalf of the Northampton High School school community, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family,” said a robocall message from Superintendent John Provost to parents and guardians that he shared with the Gazette.

School officials did not disclose the student’s name. “The family has given permission for us to share this information but has asked us to respect their privacy by not disclosing the student’s name at this time,” Provost’s message said.

In a post early Friday evening on the Northampton Police Facebook page, Chief Jody D. Kasper provided further details in reporting what she called “difficult news.”

According to Kasper, officers responding at 3:31 a.m. Thursday to a home in Florence for a report of an unresponsive female found a 16-year-old girl dead. “Members of the NPD Crime Scene Services Unit, NPD Detective Bureau, and members of the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit attached to the Northwestern District Attorney's Office responded to the scene. No foul play is suspected,” Kasper wrote in her post.

Like the superintendent, police said they were not releasing the name of the girl at the request of the family.

“Our School Resource Officer has been working closely with school faculty and staff,” Kasper wrote, noting that “resources about coping with an unexpected death and practicing self-care are available on the school’s website.”

“Members of the Northampton Police Department extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” she said.

At the high school, counselors are available “for as long as necessary to provide emotional support to our students and staff,” Provost said. “We had a team of 19 school and district staff at the school today to support our students and employees through this difficult time.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@gazettenet.com.




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