WHITMAN — It is with deep regret that Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak reports that a Whitman-Hanson family was involved in a fatal vehicle crash in Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
According to information received by the district from the Whitman Police Department, a sixth grade student is currently in critical condition at a hospital in Florida. A fourth grade student was also involved in the crash but reportedly was not injured. Killed in the crash were the mother, grandmother and a younger sister of the students.
The younger sister was enrolled at a private preschool in Whitman.
This tragic loss of life is sure to raise many questions and emotions for the students and families of the district, as well as for faculty, staff and administrators.
Counseling and administrative teams at the affected schools have been alerted of the incident and plans are in place for supporting students and staff of the Whitman-Hanson community.
These support measures will commence immediately, even as the district is on February break. Counseling resources will be available at the district on a schedule to be released to the community, and the resources will be available for as long as they are needed. Counselors are available to assist any student or employee in the coming days and weeks.
Each school in the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District has activated its crisis team, led by each building principal.
“This is a tragedy, and I believe I express the sentiments of all families, students and employees of the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District in saying that we mourn together during this incredibly difficult time,” Superintendent Szymaniak said. “I encourage all families to have honest and open conversations with their children. We have activated all the resources at our disposal, and we will come together as a community to support each other and support our students who have suffered this terrible loss.”
The district notes that there are many useful sources of information available for those in a familial or professional capacity who need to talk to children about tragedy, including:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics / Healthychildren.org
- The National Institutes of Health
- The U.S. National Library of Medicine
Anyone with questions or concerns may contact the Superintendent’s office at 781-618-7412.