NISD deploys grief counselors after tragic Tuesday

Teacher killed, teen dies in separate incidents

Author: Matt Rivers, Video Journalist, mrivers@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 20 2013 06:23:18 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

The Northside Independent School District sent more than two dozen grief counselors to schools in the district after the events of a tragic Tuesday.

A teacher and a student from Allen Elementary School and Brandeis High School, respectively, were found dead as the result of separate incidents.

Deanna Tiller, a music teacher from Allen, was found dead Tuesday morning, the apparent victim of a murder-suicide involving her boyfriend, according to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

Gabby Lerma, 17, had just left Brandeis for lunch with three other students when the car she was riding in was involved in an accident. She died a short time later.

District administrators said the overall goal of sending the grief counselors was to support its students.

“We just want to make sure they know that someone who loves and cares for them is there to listen to what they have to say,” said Veronica Ball, of NISD’s elementary guidance services.

The district said children’s understanding of death and loss can vary with age, and tailor programs to fit student needs.

“We just let them open up and explore their natural coping mechanisms,” said Deborah Healy, of NISD’s guidance and counseling department.

The district plans to keep counselors in place on both campuses as long as students request them.