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Posted March 5, 2004

Recent Sad Events at the Family School
Press Release

Contact: Sidney Parham 845-887-5213
Hancock, NY

(March 4, 2004) At approximately 8:20 a.m. on March 4, 2004, a male student jumped from a second story balcony at the Family Foundation School outside of Hancock, New York. Within minutes trained school staff began CPR. He was transported by ambulance to Delaware Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The 17-year-old from Virginia had been at this emotional growth school for just two weeks. After a difficult first four days, the student seemed to be adjusting to his life at the school. On Wednesday during group counseling, he confessed to having had suicidal thoughts and was subsequently seen by a staff Clinical Social Worker. During this interview, the student indicated he had no plan to commit suicide or harm himself in any way, said he felt better after talking with the social worker. However, senior administration at the school maintained it was standard practice for such situations to continue monitoring the student for any changes that might indicate an imminent crisis. The initial investigation revealed no precipitating incident leading up to this tragedy and no suicide note was found.

New York State Police and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Investigative units were both on the scene, but an official determination has not been made yet.

Religious and spiritual advisors who regularly work with the students and the Delaware County Critical Stress Management Team, are on campus to assist both staff and students in coping with the shock and grief of this death.

At this unfortunate time in the Family Foundation’s 17-year history of guiding at risk teenagers into responsible adulthood, our primary focus is now on helping the family and friends of this child as well as the other students at the school.

PO Box 1671 | Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 | 208-267-5550
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