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Dealing with the loss of Shane

February 01, 2012 - Oxford Community Schools indicated that administrators, grief counselors, social workers and clergy volunteers have spent a lot of time at the middle school working with staff, students and parents regarding Shane Hrischuk's death.

The district is working with Dave Opalewski, a Central Michigan University professor and author of "Confronting Death in the School Family," to help the schools and community deal with this tragedy.

Opalewski is one of the leading grief recovery experts in the United States with nearly 40 years experience in education. He's taught suicide prevention, death education and grief classes at institutions throughout Michigan. Opalewski has also worked as an aftercare consultant for a funeral home to help surviving victims and aided numerous schools in developing crisis response programs.

"His services include meeting with each school's crisis team, conducting professional development sessions for staff, presenting at student assemblies that incorporate skits performed by our students (which can then be broadcast into classrooms), and speaking at a community forum," according to a statement from the Oxford district.

On Friday, Feb 3, there will be an eighth-grade student assembly at OMS and classroom visits. A student assembly at OHS followed by classroom visits will occur on Friday, Feb. 10.

A community forum will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 at the high school's Fine Arts Center.

The OHS student council is covering the cost of Opalewski's services. CJC

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