Brookfield school officials mobilized over the weekend so they could offer help on Monday, May 7, to students and staff affected by the death of a 15-year-old student, Hunter Haines.
Superintendent Jo Taylor said seven counselors were made available at school Monday, and Liberty schools sent a therapy dog.
“They’re working with friends or anyone who needs help,” Taylor said.
Word of the sophomore’s death came Friday, she said, adding that she did not know the circumstances of his death.
“Unfortunately, the news started to break while we were at prom,” Taylor said. “It kind of affected how that went.”
While some students were posting photos of themselves in their prom attire on social media, others posted their reactions to Hunter’s death.
“Some things happen that are out of your control, but when things like this occur we all need to come together,” tweeted Lauren Elizabeth Miller. “So heartbreaking. Rest in peace, Hunter.”
“Never take anyone for granted,” posted Abe Rasoul on Twitter. “Rest easy, Hunter.”
Seventh-grade teacher Miriam Necastro tweeted that she did not know Hunter, “but I do know that I have to bring to light this discussion with my students on Monday.”
“He was a great friend, based on the comments of friends, and he was well-liked,” Taylor said.
Hunter was a second-year member of the golf team, which has gone to state the last two years. In March, when Brookfield trustees honored the team, head coach Nate Smoot noted that not all team members get to play in a competitive match.
“He’s one of the kids that got to play in those matches and worked hard to try to get there and finally broke through,” Smoot said. “This is a competitive bunch. It’s not easy to get to be one of those. He’s worked really hard for that, and I couldn’t be happier for you.”
Hunter also played basketball and baseball.
Hunter went missing for a day about a year ago. He was found by a search dog team in Masury and appeared to be unharmed.
School officials held a staff meeting first thing this morning to brief employees on the death and let them know what services were available. Services will be ongoing, Taylor said.
“If there’s a need, we’ll do what we have to do,” she said.
It is believed that the last time a student died while attending Brookfield schools was in 2014.