GRACE Christian School is a loving community…
These are the opening words of our Mission Statement. Today, the need to serve as that loving community is greater than ever. By now, you are no doubt aware of the tragic passing of one of our students. Please continue to pray for her family as they deal with her tragic death. Please continue to pray for her friends and classmates as they deal with the shock of her passing and process their grief. Additionally, her family has asked me to share the following message:
“The family would prefer that our daughter’s passing not be the subject of any news coverage and story. The media may try to contact classmates and friends asking for stories or information regarding her. We are asking that the response be a polite ‘no comment’ in an effort to protect the family’s privacy and to not contribute further to their emotional distress.”
On Wednesday, I spoke to the Upper Campus students on the topic of integrity and on the importance of being an honest person. Today, as I have searched for the words to share with our community, it seems dishonest to say or to do anything other than acknowledge that there are no words to adequately describe this moment. However, here we are, seeking for God’s direction and a sense of meaning. As I searched Scripture this morning, I came across the passage in John 16 where Jesus is warning his disciples that there will be a time when He will no longer be with them. He warned them that there would be a time of weeping and mourning. However, in verse 22, He shares “So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” We know that at the moment of her passing, she was present in the arms of Christ, in a place where her healed heart is rejoicing with a joy unlike anything anyone on earth has ever experienced. We are grieving and in the place of pain, but we can take solace and comfort in the promise of future joy.
In the coming days, our administrative team will continue to share resources with you concerning dealing with loss. Our Guidance Counselor met with our Lower Campus staff on Friday afternoon to advise the teachers on how to speak to younger students about loss. On Monday morning, we will gather with our Upper Campus staff to do the same. Please know that we are also corresponding with local pastors and counselors and plan to have additional support on hand Monday.
I know that many parents and students are concerned about the spread of the flu virus, which is understandable. As the family has shared, the complications associated with their daughter’s situation are extremely rare. On campus, our maintenance staff and evening cleaning crew will continue to perform a deep cleaning of our buildings as we have done over the past week. We also will continue to clean and sanitize high traffic and high touch areas throughout the school day. Our school nurse will continue to send students home if they are showing any sign of illness. However, please be mindful that the best way to prevent the spread of illness is for families to keep students at home when there are signs of illness, especially a fever.
In closing, I would like to share a prayer that a friend shared with me yesterday afternoon:
I pray that in some way, somehow, somewhere, the glory of God and His faithfulness will be known and people will be drawn to Him. I pray that everyone associated with Skyler’s life will sense and KNOW the all-encompassing love of God, supremely manifested through His Son, Jesus.