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West Fargo Schools Confirm Unexpected Death of Student - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

West Fargo Schools Confirm Unexpected Death of Student

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As the rumors fly on social media websites, the communications coordinator with West Fargo High School confirms the death of a sophomore who attended their school.

School officials say a crisis response team is activated at West Fargo High School. They went into place Wednesday night after word of Tessa Miller's death. She is currently on life support in preparation for organ donation.

The feelings among staff and students is overwhelming; most of them started finding out about Tessa's death late Wednesday night via social media, and Facebook has been blowing up with reaction and rumors to the loss of the sophomore.

Valley News Live hasn't been able to confirm cause of death, but we do know it was unexpected. The school has provided grief counselors to help students cope, and try to take care of each other.

"It is terrible, I don't have a great answer," said Holly Ripley with West Fargo High School. "I can tell you in my experience working with kids for many years is that they are resilient. I think, like anyone faced with difficult circumstances, somehow they're equipped and supported to manage them. Where some fall short, others step up and they're able to support each other."

Student Body President at West Fargo High, Mark Staples, agrees. "The one thing I keep hearing from kids is that they appreciate how we've been pulling together," Staples explains. "It really is a family, and it's not always like that. We've been able to be there for each other and support each other in ways that are really beneficial."

This is the second unexpected death of a young girl for this school community. They lost another student last year to a sudden brain aneurysm. Thursday on Valley News Live 10@10, we'll be bringing you some expert advice on how to talk to kids about the death of a young person they know.

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