Dear Shaker Heights Schools Families and Staff:
With heavy hearts, we are sad to report that Woodbury Sixth Grade teacher Aisha Fraser tragically lost her life this morning. Aisha was a devoted mother and a longtime committed teacher to Woodbury students. She touched so many of our children’s lives and will be deeply missed. Her loss is unexpected and the impact of this news on our entire school community is unimaginable and profound.
The Shaker Heights Police Department has issued this news release.
Staff members who are trained in grief counseling will be available to support students and staff. We are here to help. We are making arrangements for grief counseling and will share details when they are available. Please send an email to email@example.com if you need immediate support.
Our Pupil Services Department offers these suggestions on speaking with a child:
- Listen carefully to a child. Address intended questions even though they might not be verbalized. Children want information and participation. They should be reassured that adults will be there to assist them as they begin their day.
- Encourage children to participate in open talks about death, but don't force them. Children should not be "protected" from the facts of death nor forced to try and put their thoughts and feelings into words.
- Focus on how people feel sad and, even when people die, we can remember them and keep part of them alive in our memories.
- Children should be allowed to talk freely, ask questions, and express their emotions. Talking about death is more necessary and potentially helpful than not talking about it.
Please keep Ms. Fraser’s children and family in your thoughts at this difficult time. We are currently working to find a skilled long-term substitute to teach through the end of the school year. We will share details on her funeral arrangements as soon as they are available.
Dr. Stephen M. Wilkins
Shaker Heights City School District