Students have open door to talk to teachers

The Pony Express

Navigating the stormy waters of life as a teenager can be a daunting task. Faculty and staff at Gaither High School are ready and willing to helps students in any way they can.

“We want to provide support for our students,” Principal Thomas Morrill said. “It’s best to talk with professionals who know how to deal with crisis.” 

Jackie Eisenhauer, assistant principal for administration, spoke on the opportunities that the school provides in order to help students, “we have many resources. The guidance counselors will stop whatever they are doing and they will talk to the kids,” Eisenhauer said.

Guidance counselor Kelliejo Montes is helping students by having an open door for those who need to discuss their situation.

“Each conversation is different and individualized based on the students needs. Some students may have a reaction to a crisis even if they did not know the students involved based on personal experiences. There is no set script to help students through a difficult time. We provide information for outside assistance when needed.”

Montes says that students grieving complicated situations should “reach out and talk to someone.”

“Talk to your parents, a teacher, a counselor, etc. Grief is complicated and hard to maneuver through alone. Always share how you feel with an adult,” Montes said. 

Guidance counselor Myla Uppercue says that they encourage students to come to them or any staff at the school to discuss anything they are going through.

School resources extend beyond the guidance office.

“I’m a human being before I’m a school staff member,” Kedric Harris, assistant principal for student affairs, said. Harris feels it is important for students and teachers to establish a bond for cases when a students feels they have no one to talk to.

“If I am the person they need to talk to for whatever reason they feel like they have a connection with me, I’ll have them come down and talk to me,” Eisenhauer said.

On Jan. 5, two Gaither students were shot during a home robbery, and two others were arrested. The Pony Express recognizes students may have difficulty processing what happened. There are many resources available to students on campus. Specific information regarding the incident can be found on the Tampa Bay Times website.

To get in contact with counselors or the school psychologist, students can use the sign up book located inside the lobby of the guidance office.

Below are a few online resources regarding grief available for students:

Defines grief, gives examples of what causes it and talks about how one can cope with grief.

Talks about grief, loss and bereavement and the different ways to deal with it. It also talks about the different symptoms or things that happen as a result of tough circumstances.

Talks about different types of loss, reactions and how long grief usually lasts.