Friday, May 3, 2019

THIRD UPDATE: Counseling Available in Wake of McKinleyville High Student's Death

Posted By and on Fri, May 3, 2019 at 7:43 AM


McKinleyville High School Principal Nic Collart posted a letter on the school’s website this morning saying he wanted to reassure parents and students that “our school is safe” in the aftermath of an apparent student suicide on campus this morning and to let them know counseling services will be available this afternoon at several locations.

In the message, Collart offers thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the student who was found deceased on the campus this morning, saying few details are being release because it is “important for us to handle this situation in a thoughtful and confidential manner.”

“The strength of our school is that we are a family and in these moments coming together to support one another is what we need and what we do best,” he wrote.

Counseling will be available from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today at several locations listed below.

• McKinleyville Family Resource Center
1450 Hiller Rd, McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 840-0905

• Two Feathers Native American Family Services
1560 Betty Ct A, McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 839-1933

• Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods McKinleyville Teen & Community Center
1705 Gwin Rd, McKinleyville, CA 95519
(707) 840-0304

Weekend crisis support will be available through the County of Humboldt’s Mental Health Mobile Response Team.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Read the full letter below:

Dear MHS Family,
School was closed today due to an apparent student suicide on our campus. We want to assure you our school is safe but will remain closed until Monday when school resumes. It is important for us to handle this situation in a thoughtful and confidential manner. Therefore we are unable to release details at this time Our thoughts and prayers are with the students family.

We want you to know that counseling services will be available for any of our students or community starting at 1:00 this afternoon at McKinleyville Rec Center, Family Resource Center, and Two Feathers. Support staff will be on hand for anyone who needs them. If you have any questions about these counseling services or directions to these locations please call 839-6400 for more information. You can also call the Humboldt County Mental Health Mobile Response Team at 707 445-7715 We will follow up at the end of the day with information for additional support over this weekend.

The strength of our school is that we are a family and in these moments coming together to support one another is what we need and what we do best.

I love you all very much,
Mr. Collart

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal confirmed to the Journal that the deceased person found on the McKinleyville High School campus at around 6:30 this morning was a student.

Honsal said his department will release additional information later today but “this is a sensitive case” and there are lots of bases to cover before making more details public. He said this is a “death investigation only,” adding that no crime is suspected and there is no ongoing threat to students or the community.

The McKinleyville Union Elementary School District sent out an automated phone call to parents shortly before 8:30 a.m. to inform them that, while McKinleyville High School is closed today, Morris Elementary, Dow’s Prairie Elementary and McKinleyville Middle School remain in session after officials determined students and staff are “not in any danger.”

The message notes that “there are many rumors swirling around what may have occurred” at the high school but says the district does not have “additional details” at this time, but does say it is working to make counseling services available to students, as needed.

McKinleyville High School is closed today, according to a post on the campus Facebook page that states more detail will follow.

Early morning calls to the school and the district office went unanswered but parents are reporting that they are receiving emails and auto calls saying the school is closed.

According to a report on the scanner, a deceased individual was located on the quad at McKinleyville High School early this morning.

A poster on McKinleyville Community Watch wrote, “Anyone know what’s going on at the High school? 5 sheriff cars, fire truck and ambulance…just thought it was strange cause it’s so early.”

No other details were immediately available.

Editor's note: This story was first published at and is reprinted here with permission.
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Kym Kemp

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