El Morro Elementary School Death

Start Date: 2022-05-26

Description: We were asked to respond to the sudden death of the elementary school principal. It was a two-day deployment. Constance/Kelda and Leslie/Abby went the afternoon of the first day. Constance/Kelda and Jan/Sequoia went the entire day on 05-27-22. On the first day, Kelda and Abby were in a portable classroom for staff to come in to pet. Interactions were brief but intense. The principal had been there for decades and was two weeks from retirement. Laguna Beach is a small community and so many people in town were affected. On the second day, Kelda was in the portable classroom for in-depth visits, while Sequoia went from classroom to classroom to visit with kids and teachers both. The kids were thrilled to have the dog in their room. The older students were more quiet and introspective, while the younger students were just wanting to pet the dog. The only difficult time was walking across the playground during lunch and recess and trying to contain the students away from the dog. Kelda and Sequoia stayed until after the students went home so staff could come in and spend quiet time with the dogs.

Agency: Orange County Department of Education CRN
Teams: Constance Howell and Kelda; Leslie White and Abby