Teacher Death Gwinn Schools (MI)

Start Date: 01/24/2020


The high school football coach collapsed and died in the gymnasium on 1/22. Some students were present. HOPE teams were requested on 1/23 for arrival on 1/24. Teams met briefly with the school principal to plan initial strategies. We later met with the counselors throughout the day. As is our usual plan, we staged for a "meet and greet" at two main entrances to the school. Since this was the second full day of school after the death, things began to return to normal during the day. We met students in the hallways between classes, staged in classrooms, and in offices where necessary. In one instance, a student needed counseling and comfort for her step-father who was diagnosed the day before with a terminal illness. We facilitated her counseling.

During our debrief at the end of the day, the feedback was very positive. The counselors felt that the dogs were integral to the healing process.

Agency: Gwinn Public Schools (MI)

Kelly December and Daisy; Julia Meier and Ischgl; Nicholas Meier and Kayak