The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded Windham Central Supervisory Union, a regional education service agency, a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant totaling more than $48,000. The grant will help with ongoing recovery efforts following the suicide of a 16-year-old student at Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School. Windham Central Supervisory Union serves approximately 900 students located in geographically diverse areas of southern Vermont.
Project SERV grants provide critical support to districts that have experienced a significant traumatic event and would benefit from additional resources to re-establish safe environments for students. The Office of Safe and Healthy Students has awarded almost $32 million to 107 grantees, including Windham Central Supervisory Union, since the grant program began in 2001.
"We are saddened by the tragic loss of this young student," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "We hope these resources will help the learning process continue and support the students, their schools and community as they recover."
On Sept. 29, 2012, the popular teen shot and killed himself in his grandparents' yard. Since the teen's death, there have been increased concerns over the mental health of not only students but of parents and staff as well. In addition, there has been an unprecedented increase in violent threats and behaviors by other students.