Students, Faculty Deal With Tragic Death of OHS Student

Students, Faculty Deal With Tragic Death of OHS Student

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A student at Odessa High School was killed over the weekend when his motorcycle slammed into the back of an SUV on Saturday. Now family and friends of 17-year-old Aaron Salazar are left to mourn his death.

In a situation like this, school counselors are always ready to give hope and help to those who need it the most.

"My job I feel is to be ready for whatever a student presents, whatever is going on in their life. We don't get to pick our problems, we just have to deal with them," Student Assistance Counselor, David Munger, said.

Dealing with the passing of a loved one can be hard for a student, that's why when word spread about the sudden death of Salazar, additional counselors were called in to help students cope with their pain.

"We actually pulled extra counselor from the Student Assistance Services Department in our own academic counselors. We made ourselves available all day, we had a counselor go through the students schedule during the day," Munger said.

Munger says when counseling a younger student different methods have to be used, those include writing, coloring and even playing, but for older students, it's much different.

"What I found here with the older students, if they got something on their mind, they usually will say it. We're just trying to be able to respond and be supportive with what they present us," Munger said.

However it's not only students who are hurt, according to Munger, faculty members also go through a grieving process and are offered counseling as well.

"We try and provide support for them too. I can do that a little bit on the campus, we also have the district provide an employee assistance program so teachers and faculty, custodians, cafeteria folks everybody can receive support," Munger said.

Munger also emphasizes the important role parents can play when their children are going through a rough time and that is especially true when it involves the death of one of their classmates.

"Let them know that it's not the end of the world. It will not always feel as bad as it does right now," Munger said.