CHURUBUSCO — The Churubusco community is mourning the loss of one of its own — a 12-year-old Churubusco Junior High student, following a tragic death at the schools last week.
Friday classes and the varsity football game between Churubusco and Central Noble was canceled after the Thursday incident.
Superintendent Dan Hile sent a message to families Thursday evening:
“I am heartbroken to share that tonight, one of our students has passed away. Due to this terrible tragedy, I am canceling school Friday, Oct. 2,” he wrote.
Though classes weren’t held, the school was be open for students who wanted to speak with counselors and pastors who were on-hand. The district also had a scheduled two-hour delay on Monday, which later turned to an e-learning day after a thick fog blanketed the area.
“Please contact us immediately if your child needs support in any way,” he wrote. “Please keep the family and friends of our student in your thoughts in the days ahead.”
At about 5 p.m. Thursday, first responders were dispatched to the boys locker room at the school for an apparent suicide attempt.
According to Whitley County Coroner Randy Dellinger, the student was a 12-year-old male.
A GoFundMe campaign was started in the family’s behalf to cover funeral expenses, raising more than $23,000.
The fundraiser was organized by the boy’s aunt, who wrote:
“Do to the tragic loss of my nephew Andrew Bullock, we are reaching out for financial help to cover the cost of the funeral expenses. No one ever plans to bury a child and no one was prepared for this! We are in desperate need of prayers for our entire family. Andrew loved playing football, video games, going fishing with his dad, hanging with his cousins, and drawling! He made friends everywhere he went, which wasn’t a surprise because he had such a big heart! We appreciate everyone’s prayers and support during this difficult time anything helps and thanks again!”
The funeral was held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 7 at Sugar Grove Church of God, handled by Sheets & Childs Funeral Home.
Late last week, Hile released another letter, thanking the community for its support and encouraging individuals to seek help if needed.
“Your compassion and thoughtfulness is so appreciated as we try to support our students and community through this terrible tragedy,” he wrote.
Hile and school leaders have assembled assistance for staff and students.
“In addition to our school staff, we will have a team of individuals trained in student crisis situations in our schools ready to meet with students, both in groups and individually as necessary,” he wrote.
Hile encourages parents to keep a watchful eye over their children.
“It is possible that your child may experience signs of distress or concern in the days ahead,” Hile said. “If you notice any concerning changes in your child’s behavior, or even just wish to speak to someone, we have compiled a list of resources that are available to families at any time.”
The list can be found on the school districts’s website, sgcs.k12.in.us, and includes contact information for various area organizations, such as the Bowen Center, Northeastern Center, Choices and Changes, Erin’s House, Jennifer Thomas and Parkview Behavioral Health. In a Facebook post Friday evening, Choices and Changes offered free session times Friday and over the weekend for those impacted by the incident.
“Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school counselor or principal if there is anything we can do to help provide your child with support in any way.
“Please continue to keep the family and friends of our student in your thoughts during these difficult days ahead.”