A local school district encourages families to help students with the grieving process after a teen died in an automobile accident on Monday.

South Henry School Corp. Superintendent Jeremy Duncan called Jeneka Lancaster an “amazing and active member of our school community.”

Lancaster, a Tri Jr. Sr. High School student, died on the evening of April 10. Her mother also works at the school, according to Duncan’s letter to the community.

Area clergy, grief counselors and a therapy dog were in the school April 11. School activities planned that day, such as sporting contests involving Wayne County schools, were canceled or postponed.

Even children who did not know Lancaster can feel sadness, fear and anger after hearing about the death of a peer, Duncan said.

Duncan said South Henry personnel are committed to supporting students and staff in the coming days and weeks, but parents also are urged to talk with their kids about the tragedy because death impacts people in different ways.

While some children appear unaffected, others ask many questions, withdraw, are moody, sad or depressed, become scared, or have difficulty sleeping or eating. He encourages families to listen carefully, not overreact, and accept their children’s feelings.

Families can contact the Tri office at 765-987-7882 if they feel their child needs additional assistance. Those needing immediate support can call the 24/7 Be Well Indiana Crisis Helpline by dialing 211 to speak with a trained counselor, or visit a nearby crisis center or emergency department, Duncan said.   

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