Students mourn death of classmate

Counseling staff from area schools gathered at Columbus East High School as students mourned the loss of a 16-year-old classmate.

Students were told of the death Wednesday morning during announcements by Principal Mark Newell, said Larry Perkinson, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. employee and student assistance coordinator. An estimated 80 to 100 students gathered during the school day’s first period in an auxiliary gym to meet with counselors and other school district professionals, he said.

Afterward, students were allowed to leave class as needed and meet with a counselor one-on-one during the school day on Wednesday, Perkinson said.

Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said the teen died at his Columbus home Tuesday night and ruled the cause of death as suicide.