BREAKING NEWS: WHS Junior Passes Away Suddenly

UPDATE, TUESDAY, 4 p.m.Wilton High School Football tweeted a message about George DiRocco Tuesday afternoon.

BREAKING NEWS, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m.–GOOD Morning Wilton is sad to report news that was just announced to the Wilton High School students and faculty this morning. George DiRocco, a junior at the school, died suddenly on Monday night, Sept. 22.

George is the son of Wilton residents Arthur and Deborah DiRocco. Our hearts are breaking for them and George’s family, and his friends.

Students and faculty were informed by Principal Dr. Bob O’Donnell.

This story will be updated …

UPDATE, 10:45 a.m.Superintendent Kevin Smith just emailed parents with the news of DiRocco’s death. He announced that the school’s crisis response teams have been activated and will be offering counseling and support services available to all students and staff.

Smith said that support centers have been set up at WHS in room 216, the Flight Room, the College and Career Center, and outdoors on the North side of the Field House. Remote students and families who wish to access support on-site can come to the outdoor space on the North side of the Field House. Virtual support is also available to all students (both on-site and remote) on Sept. 22, 2020, via Zoom. Mental health faculty will be available for students, families, and staff in the other schools as well.

Smith’s letter is available here:

Dear Parents, Guardians, Caregivers, and Faculty, 

With profound regret and sadness, I am writing today to inform you about a very tragic loss within our school community. Yesterday evening, a Wilton High School student suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Our hearts ache for this student’s family and loved ones, to whom we wish to extend our deepest condolences. As a school community, we feel deeply the incomprehensible loss of a person so young and so filled with promise. There are no words to fully express our grief or fully comprehend this tragedy.

The loss of a member of our school family impacts us all, even those who may not have known this student personally. We recognize that people react to loss in different ways, and for some, we may see heightened levels of grief and anxiety. The district and Wilton High School crisis response teams have been called into service and are continuing to develop our ongoing response to this tragedy. As we work to process this loss, we are making counseling and support services available to all students and staff. At Wilton High School, support centers have been established in room 216, the Flight Room, the College and Career Center, and outdoors on the North side of the Field House. Remote students and families who wish to access support on-site should come to the outdoor space on the North side of the Field House. Virtual support is also available to all students (both on-site and remote) on September 22, 2020 on Zoom.

In other school buildings, school counselors, social workers, and psychologists will be accessible throughout each school day to meet the needs of students and families. For your reference, an additional resource from the National Association of School Psychologists is attached to this message. Please access our website for updates and additional resources. We will share information about our continued response as it develops.

I recognize that the days and weeks to come will present great challenges as we work through this difficult time. My hope is that we can support and find solace in one other. If you have questions or would like to connect to someone in our district, please feel free to contact your child’s counselor, school administrator, or me. In addition, Safe School Climate Coordinator Kim Zemo is available for consultation or to share additional resources:  203.762.0381, ext. 6219. If you or someone you know is struggling and you wish to make a report, the Kids in Crisis 24-hour helpline is available at 203.661.1911. In addition, if you would like to report a concern or a need through our Speak Up system, you may do so by email or call or text to 203.514.0531.

Sincerely,

Kevin J. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools