Student’s Death Prompts Additional Counseling at GRF School District

November 15, 2011

The death of a 10-year old student has prompted the Georgetown-Ridge Farm School District to bring back some programs in addition to traditional counseling methods.

Authorities are calling Ridge Farm 5th grader Ashylnn Conner's death an apparent suicide. She died Friday, and family members believe bullying played a role. Georgetown-Ridge Farm interim superintendent Kevin Tate said grief counselors have recommended the district bring back a peer mediation program, and implement PBIS, or positive behavior intervention systems.

Tate said the district discontinued some of these programs due to staff changes or finances. But he said they will be reinstated, along with anti-bullying policies that staff is training in year round.

"The workshops and the practices that they do throughout the year - a lot of them are about bullying," Tate said. "There are different levels, different age groups, and different training, so I think the district has continued to work on that, regardless. And when something like this happens, they'll take a look again, and work even harder."

Tate said the hired counselors that are helping the district, specifically those at Ridge Farm Elementary, will write a report and administrators will make suggestions based on those recommendations.

Funeral services for Ashlynn Conner will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Bethel Baptist Church in Georgetown. Ridge Farm Elementary will be closed to allow students and staff to attend.

Story source: WILL