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Student deaths prompt quick reactions from school crisis teams

Since classes started in September, a handful of seats have gone empty in classrooms across the metro area.

In September, a father killed his three teenagers before shooting himself in Minnetonka. Later that month, a Chanhassen senior died of a drug overdose. A pair of Lakeville students died in a pickup truck rollover the week after Thanksgiving. The day after Christmas, Columbia Heights siblings were killed in a snowy car crash.

Family tragedies ripple quickly to school buildings, where teachers and staff are increasingly practiced at making schools safe havens for mourning students. With crisis management plans, a majority of schools turn into command centers to help young people cope with grief they may have never before experienced.


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