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Oklahoma state superintendent offers support to Stillwater

Oklahoma state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi talked Thursday about how the unity of the town of Stillwater will help students and teachers move on from the shocking suicide there of a junior high student.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: September 27, 2012
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Janet Barresi shook her head and blinked away tears.

“There is never a time in which there is no way out,” Barresi, the state superintendent for public instruction, said Thursday. “There is never a time when there is no answer.”

The suicide of a Stillwater Junior High School student Wednesday shocked educators across the state.

Barresi reached out to the Stillwater superintendent's office, offering resources, materials and moral support.

“It is a time when we're here to do whatever we can to help with the healing,” said Barresi, who said her family has been affected by suicide.

In the chaotic hours and days after a tragedy, communities come together to support the children, she said. She said she knows Stillwater will do the same.

“This will come from the parents,” she said. “It will come from the churches. This isn't something where the lines are delineated. Everyone is rushing to help, and the focus has to be on the students.”


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