NORTH WATERBORO, Maine — As Jaden Dremsa’s classmates cope with his loss, the school’s crisis team is working on a plan to support them Monday.
“It’s about 18 staff members that are on the crisis team,” says Massabesic Principal Christian Elkington.
It’s a team they wish they didn’t need, but it might be needed this week more than ever.
The body of the 15-year-old Massabesic High School student was found Saturday by Maine Game Wardens in Lake Arrowhead after nine days searching for the North Waterboro teen, who had been last seen on May 8 near Twin Pines Trailer Park on Route 5.
“I know there are a lot of hurting students out there right now, including my own son,” said Lisa Henry, who was active in the search for Jaden Dremsa.
Elkington said you never know how a student will cope with a loss like this.
“Students and families mourn in many different ways and what we find is that we give help as needed,” he said.
With Jaden’s brother also a student there, that means even more classmates who are grieving.
“We not only have to look out for Jaden and kids who knew him but also Elijah and his friends,” Elkington says.
“Massabesic is a close-knit school, all their students are very well loved there, they’re usually there for one another,” adds Henry.
Elkington said he saw that student support when Jaden first disappeared.
“The student body last week was very respectful and handled the situation as best as we could have expected and I’ll expect the same thing to happen tomorrow and this coming week,” said Elkington.
But parents expect a difficult road ahead.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a tragic day for them all and they’re young children as well, just like Jaden was,” Henry said.
The school plans to read a statement Monday morning and then allow students to share their thoughts and feelings. Then staff members will decide which students may need counseling.