Stillwater recovers from tragedy

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Updated: 2/05/2013 10:36 am Published: 2/04/2013 11:54 pm

You won’t find any metal detectors at Stillwater school sporting events and there’s no pat down required to get into games.

Instead, it just costs a few bucks, a handshake and a smile. That’s always been the case, for the most part.

“The whole world is so much different now than it used to be,” said Stillwater Superintendent, Dr. Ann Caine.

The world changed, last September, when 13-year-old, Cade Poulos, an 8th grader at Stillwater Junior High, shot and killed himself in front of students and faculty.

“There was a flood of emotions that I went through that day,” said Kira Frisby.

Frisby was nearby when it happened. She’s the school nurse and her daughter Stella is an 8th grader at the same school.

“We’re just more aware of things,” said Dr. Caine.

An eerily similar incident happened Monday morning in Coweta. A 9th grader shot and killed himself at school.

“The Coweta superintendent called me,” said Dr. Caine.

Dr. Caine said her district listens more. She’s already taken teachers curriculum outside the textbook, and into the minds of students.

“We have partnered with the department of mental health,” said Dr. Caine.

Faculty has gone through three training courses, focusing on depression, and bullying. They’re also digging deeper than what’s seen on the surface. Assuming everything was fine proved deadly last fall.

“He was happy, he had friends, he made good grades,” said Dr. Caine. “A bigger issue is mental health.”

Getting a feel for where students stand begins with relationships; perhaps a lifesaving lesson being shared with other districts.

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