Rochester schools deal with student death

/ 8 May 2012 / jennifer

Matt Russell, Rochester Post-Bulletin, May 8, 2012 –

When to seek help

Seek help from a trusted adult if your child, student or friend:

• Stops talking or becomes very reserved and quiet.

• Can’t sleep.

• Cries a lot.

• Starts giving possessions away.

• Talks about life not being worth living.

Who can I call?

Free, confidential help is available 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255.

The Rochester school district’s crisis response team was at work Monday following the death of a 17-year-old Century High School student who apparently jumped from a footbridge near the school late Sunday, authorities say.

The student, Jay’Corey Jones, died early Monday at a hospital, Principal Chris Fogarty wrote in a letter to Century parents.

Police went to the footbridge over East Circle Drive Northeast shortly before midnight Sunday after receiving a report of a person in the road, Winters said. The bridge, which is mostly enclosed by fencing, crosses Circle Drive near 26th Street Northeast. Jones apparently climbed to the top of the fence enclosure before jumping, and police believe the death was a suicide, Winters said.

Jones moved to the Rochester school district last year from another state, possibly Illinois, and was taking 10th- and 11th-grade courses, Superintendent Michael Muñoz said at a news conference Monday.

“This morning it was pretty sad (at Century),” Muñoz said. “He was a great kid is what I keep hearing — he had a lot of friends, and there were a lot of kids who were grieving him, his loss.”

Friends, who called Jones “Corey,” remembered him after school Monday as a strong and independent person. “He had a great attitude,” said Century 10th-grader Annika Seight.

The Post-Bulletin wasn’t able to reach Jones’ family for comment.

Social workers and counselors were sent Monday to Century High School and Kellogg Middle School, where Jones’ two sisters attended school, Muñoz said. He said assistance would be available to students throughout the week.

“Any time a young life is lost, it’s very difficult to deal with that,” he said.