SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The Springfield School District is providing students and staff with grief counseling in light of a school director's recent suicide.
Michael Fisher, the former director to the Academy of Arts and Academics, committed suicide on Thursday, after being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct. The district has responded by bringing in outside counselors and psychologists for students and staff to talk to.
Sheri Childers, a special education facilitator who also provides crisis response support, said it is important for students to feel supported and have someone there for them. She said a number of students have come to talk with the counselors and others have come to be surrounded by friends and teachers.
Childers said students are responding to Fisher's death in different ways. Some are having a raw response and others are having no response. She said any response is okay as long as students have a safe place to process what happened.
"We just want them to know they need to find a supportive person in their life to talk to about this and if they need more resources than they have, they can come to school and we can provide resources. We have support there and we will continue to have support as long as they need it," Childers said.
School officials said they will provide resouces to students and staff as long as they need.
"I just think the most important part of having support for students and staff at school is for them to know they don't have to walk through this by themselves, that there are other people around who care and that there are other resources out there if they need more intensive support for what we can provide as well," Childers said.
For individuals who are struggling with a suicide loss, the suggests finding a support group, writing or asking for help.
Suicide Prevention phone number: - 1-800-273-8255