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Newton South High School mourns student's death

Posted by Evan Allen  October 17, 2013 06:12 PM

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Newton South High School is mourning sophomore Katherine Stack, who died unexpectedly Wednesday night, according to a letter sent to the community by Superintendent David Fleishman.

Authorities do not consider her death suspicious, and there was no foul play, Fleishman said.

Newton South students had a moment of silence Thursday morning and many spoke to counselors the school had on hand.

"Today was a difficult day today for many students and teachers, who were trying to make sense of that which makes no sense: the unexpected death of a classmate,'' Newton South principal Joel Stembridge said in a note to parents Thursday evening.
"Counselors and housemasters were busy all day, with a steady flow of students stopping by for support. Teachers, too, provided comfort and conversation.''

Stack's death comes less than two weeks after the body of 18-year-old Newton North High School student Karen Douglas was discovered in Natick. Douglas’s death also was not considered suspicious, according to authorities.

“The death of any young person is a terrible tragedy,” Fleishman wrote. “This loss is compounded by the recent death of a Newton North student… Processing two sudden deaths within a short time frame is very difficult to comprehend.”

A community forum has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, in the Newton South auditorium, where staff from the Riverside Trauma Center will discuss how to talk to children about sudden death. The mayor and other school leaders will attend.

At the high school Thursday, classes observed a moment of silence at 8:30 a.m., and counselors were available in their offices for students who need additional support, according to a letter from the principal.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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