BREAKING NEWS: Wilton Superintendent Notifies Community about Student’s Death

MONDAY, OCT. 5, 8:30 A.M.Wilton Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Smith just sent an email to Wilton school families notifying them that the Wilton High School student injured in a Friday evening incident had passed away.

“I am terribly heartbroken to report that earlier this morning we learned that our Wilton High School student who was injured on Friday passed away. This loss is incomprehensible and we ache for this student’s family and loved ones. This student’s death leaves us without words to express our grief or even attempt to understand this incredible loss. As a school community we extend our deepest condolences to this student’s parents, siblings and loved ones,” he wrote.

Friday evening, after multiple posts about a North Wilton shooting appeared on Facebook, followed by a Ring Doorbell security system-generated text alert sent to many Wilton cell phones–including those of children–Wilton Police confirmed they had responded to a call regarding a distressed teenager who was possibly suicidal in the area of Pin Oak Ln.

Police Chief John Lynch told GOOD Morning Wilton that, following a search through a wooded area near Pin Oak Ln., officers located the juvenile who was injured. The teen was transported by ambulance to Norwalk Hospital.

Smith’s email Monday morning reiterated resources that are available to the WHS community, including support services on site. He also acknowledged that students will be permitted to leave school with parents who wish to pick them up.

“We recognize that this news may be traumatic and students may wish to leave school. It is critically important that students remain in the care of close, trusted adults today. Should parents wish to pick up their children they should call the attendance office.”

The tragic news comes just two weeks after the school and wider Wilton communities coped with the sudden loss of two other people, 16-year-old junior George DiRocco and longtime employee Cesar Jimenez.

Smith provided several other support resources (see his letter below).

Full text of Smith’s communication:

Dear Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,

I am terribly heartbroken to report that earlier this morning we learned that our Wilton High School student who was injured on Friday passed away. This loss is incomprehensible and we ache for this student’s family and loved ones. This student’s death leaves us without words to express our grief or even attempt to understand this incredible loss. As a school community we extend our deepest condolences to this student’s parents, siblings and loved ones.

We are all impacted by this tragedy and understand that people respond in different ways. The district and Wilton High School crisis response teams have been active throughout the weekend providing support to those who have been most directly impacted. Support services remain in place this week and will be available in Room 216 and the College and Career Center.

We recognize that this news may be traumatic and students may wish to leave school. It is critically important that students remain in the care of close, trusted adults today. Should parents wish to pick up their children they should call the attendance office 203.834.4805 and plan to pick them in the Central Office or Clune pick-up loops.

Shock and disbelief are normal reactions when events such as this occur. Trauma can impact everyone differently and within varying time frames. How we cope with tragic news is likely much more difficult these days, because we have already been under so much stress due to the pandemic and other recent heartbreaking news and events. Know that school support staff is available to assist in any way and please find time to care for yourselves and your own loved ones. In support of that please find some additional resources linked below.

Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event
Developmental Responses to Grief
Grief: Helping Handout for School and Home

Referrals for additional support:

Kids in Crisis 24 Hour hotline 203.327.KIDS (5437)
211 Infoline for immediate support

For any questions, concerns or immediate needs please contact Kim Zemo, Safe School Climate Coordinator, at 203.762.0381, ext. 6219. Know we are here to support you.

Sincerely,

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

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800.273.8255.