Ashland High School rallies support for students to cope

Ashland, Ore. —  As Police Chief Tighe O’Meara himself said, the shocking crime has stunned the Ashland community, and it’s hitting students hard at the city’s two largest schools.

The 12-year old suspect attended Ashland Middle School, his 16-year-old sister goes to Ashland High School. Students told NBC5 they’re stunned by what happened on Tuesday, and now, the administration says they’re doing everything they can to make sure students can be heard.

“It is a huge impact on students and the community – and all these pieces, anytime something of this nature happens,” said Samuel Bogdanove, the director of student services for the Ashland School District.

Ashland Police say a 12-year-old stabbed his mother and sister Tuesday morning, inside their home on Morton Street. The boy is in custody, but police say the investigation is far from over.

“All of us are touched by this. We really want as a school, to be responsive, to the needs of the kids in the school and also to this family for a tragedy that’s difficult to understand,” he said.

Bogdanove says the 12-year old boy charged with his mother’s murder, attends the middle school.
His 16-year old sister, wounded Tuesday, goes to Ashland High.

“This is a huge tragedy, and our role really is about trying to be supportive about both the family and the students, and the staff,” he said.

High school students are writing notes to the girl, sending her well-wishes.

“She’s a very well-liked student and the kids are really trying to get together messages of healing and get that to her,” he said.

But he acknowledges the situation’s more complicated at the middle school.

“The kinds of question may be a little different. But the concerns come from a similar set of feelings – everybody asks what does this mean, how do I interpret it, how do I deal with that,” he said.

Counselors at both schools have been made available. The district working to make sure that even though they don’t have all the answers, kids feel they’re being supported.

The district said they’re working with staff to identify kids who might be in need and are encouraging kids to come forward. They said they will continue to have support on-site for as long as needed.

NBC5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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