Ky. high school community mourns loss of student

Ky. high school community mourns loss of student
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 4:06 PM EDT
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JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The East Jessamine High School community is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Friday, the school said a student passed away.

We’ve learned the student, Jacoby Pittman, was a football player. According to the Jessamine County coroner, Pittman was just 14.

The school canceled the football game Friday because of his death.

School district officials say they are making counselors available to students in various schools in the district to help them through this difficult time.

“When a healthy young person and a friend is taken, that’s just incredibly shocking I think for young people and it feels like the world is out of order and kind of out of control and things are not as they should be,” said Leila Salisbury, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Grieving Children and Families.

She says, sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone who is grieving is listen whenever they’re ready to talk.

“It’s just important to keep those lines of communication open,” Salisbury said. “Many kids and teens will want to talk about it and an equal number won’t. So, I think parents and caregivers can empower them to say, ‘this is something big that’s happened. Ya know, I’m always here if you wanna talk about it. Do you want to talk about it now?’ Kind of give them some choices,” she said.

Salisbury explains that, in some cases, kids and teens are more comfortable opening up to their peers rather than adults.

“A lot of times a group experience can be incredibly healing,” Salisbury said.

That’s why KCGCF offers community-based grief support groups for children and youth ages 4-18.

“There’s something really powerful about being in a room full of people that are in some variation of the same boat,” Salisbury said.

In addition to the children’s support groups, the Kentucky Center for Grieving Children and Families also offers support groups for parents and caregivers to help adults better understand youth bereavement.