Letter to Families Jan 23
Dear Chief Sealth and Denny families and staff,
Police are investigating a shooting that took place near the Chief Sealth and Denny campuses today at the Southwest Athletic Complex Community Center. Tragically, a Chief Sealth student died.
We are heartbroken and send our deepest condolences to the student’s family, friends, and loved ones.
The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is investigating and working with the district’s Safety and Security team. Both schools will be open tomorrow. Students will see an increased presence of police and school security staff at and around their campus.
After-school activities at Chief Sealth and Denny have been canceled for today, Jan. 23, 2024. The Teen Life Center will be closed tomorrow.
Coordinated School Health and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are available to help our community process this tragic incident.
When someone dies suddenly, particularly a young person, it’s normal for children and teens to have different kinds of feelings and reactions. Parents and guardians have important roles in helping students understand death.
Here are some suggestions for how to help students:
- Stick to the facts. Answer questions factually.
- Remain calm and reassuring. Students take their cues from their parents and adults.
- Be a good listener and observer.
- Pay attention to changes in behavior.
- Be especially loving and supportive; children and teens need you even more during tragedies.
You can find additional tips and guidance with these community resources.
- When Grief/Loss Hits Close to Home: Tips for Caregivers
- SPS Coordinated School Health Mental Health Resources
- How to help a grieving teen
- Crisis Connections provides a 24-hour crisis line 866-427-4747 or Teen Link 866-833-6546.
I am grateful for the quick response and thorough investigation by the SPD and the SPS Safety and Security team. I want to commend the responsiveness of Principal Ray Garcia Morales and Principal Mary Ingraham and staff. Thank you for your rapid response to secure the campus and support our students and families.
Please hold your loved ones close and seek comfort in one another. SPS will keep families and staff updated as information becomes available.
Chief of Staff
Seattle Public Schools