Originally created 02/08/02

Faculty deals with pupil's death



AIKEN - Hands rubbed foreheads Thursday night at Kennedy Middle School as teachers and counselors wondered how to handle the death of one of their pupils.

The staff learned of Brandon DuBose's death when Aiken Public Safety officers came to the school about 4:30 p.m. looking for records on the sixth-grader that may provide relative's phone numbers.

The first reaction was shock. Then came questions.

Why did this happen?

How do they handle this?

The staff has dealt with traffic deaths and natural deaths of pupils. But now there are few answers as police investigate a possible murder-suicide involving not only Brandon, but his father and stepmother.

The fortunate thing in such an unfortunate circumstance is that the Aiken County School District has a crisis team, Principal George Rogers said.

Mental health counselors and psychiatrists will be at the school today to join the staff in comforting Brandon's classmates.

"We will be counseling with students and try to be as honest as we can be," Mr. Rogers said Thursday from a conference room in the front office. "We will try to give them as much comfort (as possible), because all the children will find this very confusing."

School counselor Nancy Dukes said parents should let their children talk about Brandon.

"It will help with the healing process."

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.