Update: Students Try To Cope After Boy Shoots Himself - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Update: Students Try To Cope After Boy Shoots Himself

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Fairmount, North Dakota -

Update by Amy Unrau 4:50 PM Friday

There's new information tonight about the teenager, who shot himself at school in Fairmount, North Dakota. The school superintendent says the freshman had gone through a group session with the school counselor about depression and suicide, just days before this happened. He says the student is at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, and is expected to recover.

Today (Friday), classes were back in session, but many students have a long road of healing ahead.

Superintendent, Ron Stahlecker, says, "We just want to try to get back to normal."

It appeared to be a day like most others at school in Fairmount, North Dakota. Kids taking bus rides and classes in session, except A horrific scene of a young boy shooting himself is still on the minds of so many.

Stahlecker says, "I stayed awake most of the night thinking about it and I don't know what we could have done differently."

One way the school is trying to speed up the coping process is, instead of canceling class, they're getting students through these doors, because being with classmates and friends is better than being alone.

"Because at home, they would have been sitting at home, just thinking with questions and no answers. Here, they can have all those things together," says Stahlecker.

Counselors from area schools are on hand to talk to anyone who needs it. The school has also set up a comfort room where kids can come and go through the day, draw pictures, play games and just have someone to talk to.

"He didn't want to hurt anybody, because he asked that. 'Did I hurt anybody?' Physically, he didn't, but inside, mentally, he really hurt a lot of people," says Stahlecker.

The superintendent added that based on the school's policies, since the teenager brought a weapon on campus, he will most likely not be allowed back in school. However, they say they will help find ways to keep him on pace with academics during his recovery.

UPDATE by Emily Welker 10:11 PM Thursday

Students in the small town of Fairmount,  ND told Valley News Thursday night they're not ready to go back to school, in spite of officials' plans to resume classes as scheduled Friday morning.

A team of seven or eight counselors will be on hand to talk with students, who are expected to report to normal classes as usual. The school superintendent says counselors' advice to them was "to keep everything as normal as possible."

In addition to that, they'll have what they're calling a "comfort room" set up in the school library. There, students can go to talk, share, and experience group or individual counseling.

Sources close to the story say the boy has been taken by ambulance from the hospital in Breckenridge, MN to a Fargo hospital with a wound to the side of his face. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Some new information from a press conference held by the Richland County Sheriff's Department at around 1:00 PM.

The student who shot himself is a freshman, and shot himself in the head in front of 7 other freshman students and a teacher.

The teacher provided first aid to the student who shot himself, while the other students were taken to the library.

The student said he did not want to hurt anyone else.

He was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center, but his condition is unknown. However, sheriff's officials say he was conscious following the shooting.

Officials would not comment on the possible motive, but did say they don't believe he was bullied.

School in Fairmount will resume on Friday as normal, and counselors will be on hand.


 The school in the small southeastern North Dakota town of Fairmount is letting students go home for the day and calling in counselors after a high school boy brought a gun to class and shot himself. 

  Principal Jay Townsend says the boy survived what officials believe was a suicide attempt Thursday morning. He says the boy did not threaten anyone else.

  Townsend says the boy was taken to a hospital. He doesn't know the boy's condition but says the boy was coherent.

  The Richland County Sheriff's Office says the incident at the K-12 school happened about 8:30 a.m. The school was put into lockdown for about an hour.

  Townsend says the school has about 110 students. About 370 people live in the town.

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