Columbus, Ind. — Counseling sessions to help Columbus East High School students cope with the weekend death of a sophomore honor student have been rescheduled for 9:15 a.m. today.
With school on a two-hour delay today because of dense fog, school administrators also delayed the starting time for students to meet with school counselors to help them deal with the death of Abbott F. Garn, 15, who was struck about 9:30 p.m. Saturday by a sport-utility vehicle in the 2500 block of Franklin Street and died about midnight at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.
“It’s something that’s going to hit the school community very hard,” Columbus East Principal Mark Newell said.
Newell said he is encouraging students who need assistance dealing with the loss of their classmate to gather at 9:15 a.m. today in the high school’s auxiliary gym, where school guidance counselors will be available to assist.
That’s a half hour before the 9:45 a.m. start of classes.
Larry Perkinson, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s employee and student assistance coordinator, will also be available for any of Columbus East’s 1,550 students or school staff, Newell said.
Students who need additional time to talk will be allowed to stay in the gym as long as necessary, Newell said.
“We take care of each other,” he said.
Garn’s death is the first of a Columbus East student since two students died of suicide at the start of the 2015 school year, Newell said.